Consider adopting an adult cat

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One of the very good reasons for adopting from a shelter is to save a cat’s life. It’s sad but it’s a fact that each year thousands of perfectly lovable, and loving, cats are humanely killed in shelters because people often think only of getting a kitten.

Kittens are delightful, of course, and also deserve to be well cared for. But there are many reasons why you may instead consider adopting an adult cat.

When you adopt a cat from a shelter their staff can help you choose a cat that is right for you and your family. Often the shelter will know something of the cat’s history.

They may know if the cat gets along with young children, if it is used to sharing a home with many cats, or other pets, or if it is accustomed to being the only cat in the house.

Is Cat Adoption Right For You?

When you approach a shelter hoping to adopt a cat you will be subjected to a screening process to ensure your suitability. This is not because the shelter wants to stand in the way of you adopting a cat, but because they have to be as sure as they can that they only allow the cats into the care of people with the skills, commitment and ability to properly care for a pet.

If you adopt a cat that is fully grown you know what you’ve got, both in looks and personality.

Shelters vary in the exact information that they require but it is likely they will want to know if you have other pets or have kept pets in the past. If so they will want to know which veterinarian you use, or used, and whether you intend to use this veterinarian with the cat you adopt.

It is likely the shelter will check out the reference.

It is probable that you will be asked if you own or rent your home. If you rent, the shelter will want to contact your landlord to ensure that you have permission to keep a cat. You may be asked for details of everyone who shares your home and their ages and relationship to you. You may be asked if everyone who shares your home is happy with your decision to adopt a cat. The shelter may insist that you agree not declaw the cat that you are adopting.

You will likely be asked questions to determine if you realize cat adoption is a commitment for life and that you are willing to provide adequate food, fresh water and shelter daily and on a consistent basis.

You may also be asked questions to determine if you understand, and can afford, the costs involved in caring for a cat, including veterinary care.

Be honest when answering questions, whether asked verbally or on a form. Think about the sort of things that you are likely to be asked ahead of time.

Remember that shelters are keen for you to adopt a cat, but want to be sure that the animal is released to someone who will not only love it, but is also capable of taking care of it.

Many shelters report that black cats are often passed over for rehoming simply because of the superstitions that some people have about them. By adopting a black cat you can share your home with a beautiful feline that most likely well behaved and, of course, in no way sinister.

Adopt a Cat of Maturity.

An older cat is likely to be calmer than a kitten. They are likely to allow you to pet and stroke them without biting and scratching at your hands as a young kitten would. A full grown cat will not have the excess energy of a kitten, will not be as mischievous and accident prone.

A more mature cat may be the best option for life in a home where the humans are out for most of the day. Adopt a cat from a shelter and they may well be able to tell you if the feline is accustomed to that sort of lifestyle. An energetic kitten on the other hand could get into all kinds of trouble while learning to be alone for part of the day.

Cats are in animal shelters for many reasons, most of them are perfectly good cats that make splendid pets.

A kitten may not be the best choice for a home with young children. Young kids are often unintentionally rough when playing with cats or kittens.

An older cat is apt to be more tolerant with kids and would likely walk away if the playing gets out of hand. Kittens will not have learned to retract their claws when playing and will not know that biting is not allowed. (Young children should not be left to play with cats or kittens unsupervised.)

Adopting a full grown cat means that your new pet knows how to use a litter box, knows how to use a scratching post, rather than scratch at your furniture, and is less likely to chew things such as electrical cords.

If you adopt a cat that is fully grown you know what you’ve got, both in looks and personality. You may choose a kitten for adoption because it is lively and energetic and it may grow into a subdued cat, likewise a timid or laid back kitten may mature into an aggressive and assertive feline.

Why Are These Cats Available For Adoption?

So how do cats end up in shelters hoping for adoption, aren’t they problem cats that don’t make good pets? Cats are in animal shelters for many reasons, most of them are perfectly good cats that make splendid pets. Some may have been heartlessly abandoned by their humans simply because the novelty of owning a pet has worn off.

Yet others have been reluctantly given to the shelter by owners who, for one reason or another, have been forced to move somewhere that does not allow pets. Some cats will be there because their humans have passed away, or have been hospitalized for a long term.

Cats that have strayed from home and do not have an identification tag, or have not been microchipped, so there is no way to return them to their owners also end up in animal shelters.

So too do feral cats – cats born in the wild and have never known a home. A feral cat can adapt to living with humans but caring for one is a difficult task. You will not be asked to adopt a cat that has been living wild without being told that it is feral and unless both you and the shelter are confident you are capable of the task.

You may think that you will be short changing yourself by acquiring a pet that has already lived some of its life. The average age that domestic cats live to is increasing, adopt a cat and you are likely to have a loving companion for many years to come.

Cats of all types are available for adoption at animal shelters. Adopt a cat and share your life with a loving companion.

http://www.best-cat-art.com

Dog letters to God

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Dog Letters to God

Dear God,
How come people love to smell flowers, but seldom, if ever, smell one
another? What are they thinking?

Dear God,
When we get to Heaven, can we sit on your couch?
Or is it the same old story?

Dear God,
Excuse me, but why are there cars named after the jaguar, the cougar, the
mustang, the colt, the stingray, and the rabbit, but not one named for a dog?
often do you see a cougar riding around?
We dogs love a nice ride! I know every breed cannot have its own model, but
it would be easy to rename the Chrysler Eagle the Chrysler Beagle!

Dear God,

If a dog barks his head off in the forest and no
human hears him, is he still a bad dog?

Dear God,
Is it true that in Heaven, dining room tables have on-ramps?

Dear God,
More meatballs, less spaghetti, please.

Dear God,

When we get to the Pearly Gates, do we have to
shake hands to get in?

Dear God,
We dogs can understand human verbal instructions, hand signals, whistles,
horns, clickers, beepers, scent IDs, electromagnetic energyfields,
and Frisbee flight paths. What do humans understand?

Dear God,
Are there dogs on other planets, or are we alone?
I have been howling at the moon and stars for a long time, but all I ever
hear back is the beagle across the street.

Dear God,
Are there mailmen in Heaven? If there are, will I have to apologize?

Dear God,
When my family eats dinner they always bless their food. But they never
bless mine. So, I’ve been wagging my tail extra fast when they
fill my bowl. Have you noticed my own blessing?

Dear God,
I’ve always lived at the shelter and I have everything I need. But many of
the dogs here have names and I don’t. Could you give me a name please? It
would be good for my self-esteem.

Dear God,
The new terrier I live with just peed on the Oriental rug and I have a
feeling my family might blame me ‘cuz they think I’m jealous of this
stupid dog. Since they have no sense of smell, how can I convince them I’m
innocent? Does PetsMart sell lie detectors?

Summer Pet Tips

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Are you ready for the “dog days of summer”?  There are several tips we can always use and be reminded of to get through these hot summer months with our pets!

When the lazy days of barbecues and swimming pools roll around, you can make them even better by sharing them with your favorite pet. By following a few summer pet safety tips, you can keep your animal friends healthy and enjoy the months of sun and fun.   Here are some great tips from healthypet.com:

Never leave your pet in the car.  Though it may seem cool outside, the sun can raise the temperature inside your car to 120 degrees in a matter of minutes, even with the windows cracked.  If you need to run errands, leave the furry ones at home.

As you are outside enjoying the warm weather, keep your pet leashed.  It will keep her from getting lost, fighting with other animals, and eating or drinking things that could make her sick.  This tip isn’t just for dogs-even cats can learn to walk on a leash if you train them.

Water, water everywhere.  Whether you’re indoors or out, you and your pet need access to lots of fresh water during the summer months.  So check her water bowl several times a day to make sure it’s full.  If you and your furry friend venture forth for the afternoon, be sure to bring plenty of water for both of you.

Pets  need sunscreen too.   Though all that fur protects her, your pet can get sunburned, particularly if she has light skin and hair.  Sunburn in animals can cause similar problems to those caused in humans, including pain, peeling,  and skin cancer.  So keep your pet out of the sun between 10am and 4pm, and when you do go out rub a bit of sunblock on unprotected areas like the tips of ears, the skin around lips, and the nose.

Say no to tangles.  Keeping your pet well groomed will help her hair do what it was designed to do:  protect her from the sun and insult her from the heat.  If she has extremely thick hair or lots of mats and tangles, her hair may trap too much heat , so you may want to clip her.

Watch out for antifreeze.   Hot weather might tempt your pet to drink from puddles in the street, which can contain antifreeze and other chemicals.  Antifreeze has a sweet taste that animals like, but is extremely toxic.  When you are walking your pet make sure she doesn’t sneak a drink from the street.

Be cautious on humid days.  Humidity interferes with animals’ ability to rid themselves of excess body heat.  When we overheat, we sweat, and when the sweat dries it takes excess heat with it.  Our four-legged friends only sweat around their paws, which is not enough to cool the body.  To rid themselves of excess heat, animals pant.  Air moves through the nasal passages, which picks up excess heat from the body.  As it is expelled through the mouth, the extra heat leaves along with it.  Although this is a very efficient way to control body heat, it is severely limited in areas of high humidity or when the animal is in close quarters.

Make sure your pet doesn’t overexert herself.  Though exercise is an important part of keeping your dog or cat at a healthy weight, which helps her body stay cool, overdoing it can cause her to overheat.  Keep the walks to a gentle pace and make sure she has plenty of water.  If she’s panting a lot or seems exhausted, it’s time to stop.

Take it easy on pets that can’t deal with the heat.  Elderly, very young, and ill animals have a hard time regulating their body temperature, so make sure they stay cool and out of the sun on steamy summer days.  Dogs with snub noses, such as bulldogs and pugs, have a hard time staying cool  because they cannot pant efficiently.  Overweight dogs are also more prone to overheating because their extra layers of fat act as insulation, which traps heat in their bodies and restricts breathing capabilities.

Bring them inside.  Animals shouldn’t be left outside unsupervised on long, hot days, even in the shade.  Shade can move throughout the afternoon, and pets can become ill quickly if they overheat, so keep them inside as much as possible.  If you must leave your pet in the yard, keep an eye on them and bring them in when you can.

Keep an eye out for heatstroke.  Heatstroke is a medical emergency. If you suspect your pet has heatstroke (see “Signs of Heatstroke,”below), you must act quickly and calmly. Have someone call a veterinarian immediately. In the meantime, lower the animal’s body temperature by applying towels soaked in cool water to the hairless areas of the body. Often the pet will respond after only a few minutes of cooling, only to falter again with his temperature soaring back up or falling to well below what is normal. With this in mind, remember that it is imperative to get the animal to a veterinarian immediately. Once your pet is in the veterinarian’s care, treatment may include further cooling techniques, intravenous fluid therapy to counter shock, or medication to prevent or reverse brain damage.

Even with emergency treatment, heatstroke can be fatal. The best cure is prevention, and Fido and Fluffy are relying on you to keep them out of harm’s way. Summer does not have to be fraught with peril–with ample precaution, both you and your furry friends can enjoy those long, hot dog-days of summer.

Signs of Heatstroke:

  • Panting
  • Staring
  • Anxious expression
  • Refusal to obey commands
  • Warm, dry skin
  • High fever
  • Rapid heartbeat
  • Vomiting
  • Collapse

Anya

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Anya my big girl I love you,

But you can drive me up the wall,

When you act like you can’t hear me,

From two feet away when I call.

 

You’re gentle and sweet, such an angel,

You’re funny and you love to play,

EXCEPT when I want attention,

That’s when you jump up and walk away.

 

I watch you trot all over the yard,

Every day you run to your treat,

Get called inside and you fall down,

And start tripping over your feet.

 

I want you to move, you just lay there,

Pretending you’re sleeping sound,

But if I plop down and nod off,

You bark and start pouncing around.

 

You’re never happy where you are,

When you’re in you whine to go out,

I put you out, it’s in you want,

What the heck is that all about?

 

You just keep playing me for a fool,

But hey, that doesn’t much matter,

Anya, sweet Anya I love you,

Though you make me mad as a hatter.

Why don’t more people adopt?

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I was sitting here tonight trying to think of something to write in our blog.  There are simply so many things to talk about when it comes to pets and animals.  There are tons of fun facts, hilarious stories and pictures, and important issues that bring out the most passionate and heated discussions.  Sometimes I become too overwhelmed at the thought of tackling certain subjects, and other times I just cannot seem to put a decent thought down on paper.  So tonight I just sat and thought about what questions I had about different things.  The one question that continually came up was why don’t more people adopt rescue dogs?   I did some internet research and found a lot of great articles explaining myths and truths behind shelters and breed-specific rescue groups.  And my own personal beliefs lean strongly towards adoption vs. buying.

Some of the common myths about shelters and rescue groups include:

Rescue dogs are mutts.  You can’t know what to expect in look, size, or temperament. 

Truth is if you want a breed specific dog, there are breed specific rescue groups all over the country.  A simple search can help you find one close to you.  However, there is nothing wrong with mutts!  In fact, they tend to have less health problems given that their genetic pool is much broader.  A dogs’s markings do not greatly change as they mature and their paw size is a good indicator of how big they will get.

Shelter dogs have behavior problems, psychological problems, health problems, etc. 

Not all rescue dogs have been abused or have problems.  Many are there through no fault of their own.  Their owners lost their home, for example, and they are just waiting for a new family to love.  Good shelters do their best to see the dogs are healthy before they are put for adoption.  Their worst cases are often sent to special homes; they are not looking to unload them on unsuspecting families.

Rescue dogs cost too much.

Rescue dogs are a great value.  The cost of a shelter dog usually includes vaccines, spaying/neutering, and some include a post-adoption vet visit.  Keep in mind, breeders are business to make money.  Shelters are in business to save lives.  Which do you think gives you the better value?

Shelters and rescues are picky and the screening process takes too long.

Each shelter and rescue has a different system for how they process applicants.  Some are more complicated than others, but they have one goal in mind:  to find the dog a forever-home.  This is a benefit to you.  If they are spending this much time screening you, think of how much time they spent screening the dog for you.

You can’t get a puppy at a rescue or shelter.

Plenty of puppies are given up for adoption.  On Petfinder.org you can search local shelters specifically for puppies.  What many people don’t realize is by being open to adopting an adult dog you can often find one past the chewing stage, already housebroken, or even has some basic training.

(Myths information written by Sonia Singh of Pawposse.com)

As the proud parent of several rescue and mixed-breed shelter dogs, I know there are tons of wonderful dogs out there waiting for good, loving homes.  I always urge everyone to consider adoption first.

We fully believe that every pet deserves a loving home.

Monkey

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Monkey is one of the cutest mutts ever. She’s sweet, funny, smart and one of my favorite dogs. She’s also the weirdest eater I have ever seen. Let me explain…

Often when I get to Miss Monkey’s house her dinner is still sitting in the kitchen waiting to be eaten. Monkey runs up to the bowl like a dog who hasn’t eaten in days, throws her head into the bowl and then… Nothing. Nada, zip, zilch. She sits down and stares at it like it’s a bug. Some nights she will gaze at it for a good 5 min. I’m never sure what she’s doing/thinking during this sit and stare period. Eventually she gets up and sticks her head in the bowl and looks like she is going to finally eat. She’s not. She’s getting ready to make her piles. Yes, I said piles. She takes a single piece of food and walks over to a different part of the room, drops the nugget, goes back go the bowl, grabs another single piece of food and brings it to join the first. After a pile of food has been formed, with a seemingly predetermined number of pieces, she will form a second pile, nowhere near the first, and then often a third pile. Pile 1 might have 12 pieces, while pile 2 only has 5 and pile 3 has 15. She seems to have a plan so I don’t question it. Once the piles are to her liking, she inspects them closely, she goes back to her bowl to eat. She doesn’t eat directly out of the bowl, no siree, she takes a mouthful, drops it on the floor next to the bowl and eats from there then repeats until the bowl is empty. She often stops to growl at me (in a funny way) even though I’m usually nowhere near her food.
Next come the piles. She eats them in order. V-E-R-Y S-L-O-W-L-Y. It can take her 20+ min to eat one cup of food. It’s an entertaining 20 min. though.

So, there you go, she’s a goofball that Monkey.

Anybody else have a weirdo pet story they’d like to share?