Rescue a Pet

Dec 10th, 2008 | By Dr Jerry D Elrod | Category: Senior Moments Blog

Struck with how many stray animals are out there now, ostensibly because the economic downturn has compelled people to abandon their pets, why not consider adopting a pet from a rescue shelter?

To be sure, doing so means that you are in a position to provide adequate and appropriate care including shelter, a healthy diet, good grooming and over all commitment to the pet in question.

Last year, following on Prostate surgery, we chose to adopt two. They were listed on Petfinder.com. This site has an overwhelming national and localized selection of a variety of animals. We had a two hour drive to reach one of the rescue shelters; the other was less than an hour from our home. They have turned out to be superb in behavior, in ease of care, in sharing and receiving affection.

Decision points to ponder:

Of course, if you have not had pets previously you will need to do some research on what kind of pet and care the one(s) you choose will require. Adopting from a shelter is a very good way to have all the particulars addressed, including shots and return policy, in the event that that becomes necessary.

Warning: DO NOT give a pet as a gift. That is an inappropriate gesture. Only in the case that the receiving party agrees to such should a pet ever be sprung on anyone. If you have grandchildren and they wish a pet, be sure the parents have approved. Otherwise be prepared for a family feud of enormous proportions.

Remember pets can be costly. Therefore, as those who have sadly discovered, do not consider a pet unless you are comfortable with the cost.

Consider where they will sleep, what they will eat, how they will be trained, what activity and exercise they will be allowed, what size pet you will be comfortable having, how they will be at traveling, what kind of care they will have when you are away. This list is only partial. You are adding two live beings to your lifestyle, your home, your routine.

Choose a veterinarian whom you feel good about. Ask for counsel on diet, supplemental vitamins, grooming care, parvo (a very scary disease and often deadly), shots and their frequency.

Finally, are you of such a bent that having a pet will be comfortable for you, add to your overall life experience, and will provide more joy than frustration. Most of us had pets as children, but most were taken care of by our parents. When care and feeding become our responsibility, will we be up to it? Answering affirmatively means you are likely ready to take on the presence of what will become an extension of your heart!



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