December 07, 2017
Animals make great additions into households and can be found in more and more households each year. Animals are also becoming a significant part of families and are progressively recognized as “fur-babies.”
Shelters and Rescues have become an increasingly popular way for people to bring animals into their families. Through the routes of adoption, less animals are being acquired via puppy mills and backyard breeders. Nevertheless, that doesn’t negate why animals are still being brought into shelters and rescues. Here are some of the reasons:
There’s no denying that animals require time and attention. Dogs demand time in some ways more so than cats. For instance, cats (generally) use a litterbox and relieve themselves, while dogs need someone to let them outside. Some may be able to hold it 8 hours while others cannot. This can make it more of a challenge to spend long hours away from home and just leave for a weekend or even a night, while cats are more self-sufficient in that area. When household’s schedules change, the ability to support a dogs time requirements are challenged and people make a brace decision to allow another family to better support the dog’s needs.
Owning a companion animal can be an expensive endeavor. There’s routine costs of food, toys, annual exams and vaccines, as well as accessories- such as leashes, collars, litter, food, dishes, and treats just to name a few. All of which can be costly, especially if a pet needs specialty food, or is a large breed and consumes a high volume of food. On top of routine and anticipated costs, there are also medical expenses that may not be foreseen. These costs could be unexpected injuries or traumas, or a diagnosis that requires frequently and costly medication. Sometimes the medication isn’t just for a few days or weeks, but rather lifelong. Animals may also have destructive behavior. This could be due to a bad habit, anxiety, or young stage in life. A dog or cat who is destructive may cost their person hundreds of dollars fixing a door, sheetrock, curtains, or even a couch. In many cases, those who surrender for a financial reason have lost their income, or cannot afford the sometimes expensive medical procedures or specialty food.
Some animals are surrendered due to behavioral reasons that can vary in severity, but be a challenge to people nonetheless. Some common behavioral issues would be destruction, jumping, mouthing, aggression, anxiety, separation anxiety, house soiling, and even excessive barking. For dogs, many of these behaviors can be alleviated through training. Whereas cats can also be trained, though for issues such as improper litterbox usage could stem from a deeper issue such as stress of change, including moving, a new baby, or schedule. While committing to training can often help, training may not always fully eliminate the problem or people may not be able to commit to a training regimen or have the time.
Many people who own an animal have experienced an animal sneaking out through an open door, finding that one hole in the fence, or even slipping out of their collar. When animals get out they enjoy taking themselves for a well-deserved stroll. When someone finds a pet, rather than leaving them outside to brave the elements or potentially get injured, animals are brought to local shelters to wait for their families to relocate them. If not accompanied within a certain amount of time, the shelter legally gets ownership and can them help the animal find a new home. To avoid your pet becoming a stray, it’s recommended that they have a microchip and/or a collar with some form of identification and a way to contact you.
Housing is important to take into consideration when owning a pet. Some insurance companies will not cover a house, or apartment, with certain dog breeds living under the roof. Someone in the house may be allergic to the animal or breed of. If renting, some places have a size and/or breed restriction. Some rentals even require an increased deposit for each pet and/or have a higher rent amount per month for allowing an animal. Also, life takes turns and people may be forced to move due to job change of sorts. During these times, people may find it difficult to keep their pet and seek placement through shelters and rescues.
Oops! You meant to sterilize your pet but it’s too late. Every year, hundreds of puppies and kittens enter shelters and rescues due to unwanted litters. It only takes one quick escape outside to find yourself with a pregnant cat or dog. Spaying and neutering would greatly reduce the number of cats and dogs that enter shelters.
Animals are cute and have goofy personalities that can be hard to resist. Sometimes even more so when they are young. Each city has a limit on how many pets can be in a household. If that number is exceeded, a person may be required to bring their number down to the legal limit, thus having to make a tough choice on which animals to let go and bring elsewhere, such as a shelter or rescue. People who find themselves with too many animals generally have a good heart with good intentions. Even when they’ve realized it’s too much, it’s a brave and honest conclusion to come to.
One thing to keep in mind is that just because an animal is in a shelter or rescue, it doesn’t always mean they were not once loved and that people didn’t care. Each person and animal has its own story and is looking for a new, loving home. A shelter isn’t a bad outcome, and trust me, they are loved and spoiled for as long as they are in a shelter. Check out your local shelter and spend some time petting a cat or taking a dog for a walk.
March 08, 2018
I could never do it! How do you not bring them all home?
You’re right, it takes a special kind of person to work with animals and even more so to work in a shelter or rescue environment. Not everyone can do it. These individuals are equipped with special hero-like powers.
March 05, 2018
Many pet owners have heard of probiotics, but many do not know whether or not probiotics would benefit their own pets living happily within their homes. So, is there even a point to add a daily supplement, such as a probiotic, into a pet’s daily routine?
December 07, 2017