Monday, February 4, 2013

Everything is NOT for Everyone

How many times have we heard the old cliché "everything isn't for everybody?" Well this couldn't be more true for adopting a pet.  There are many facets that go into becoming a pet parent and although many people embark on that journey its sad to say many do not complete the journey.  Being around pet parents some think it's easy to have a pet especially a dog.  Look at the benefits of having a do to name a few.
                                    1)      They do not judge

                                    2)      They give unconditional love
                                    3)      They're true companions
                                    4)      They keep you healthy by getting you off the couch
                                    5)      They help with your social life
 The list goes on and on however, what most people fail to realize is the true life changes that occur when one adopts a dog.  Changes that occur are as follows:
                                 1)    Waking up in the  middle of the night/early morning to let the dog out or walk dog             
                            2)     Veterinary cost (wellness check up) maybe emergency visits (very costly)
                                    3)      Purchase food, treats (clothes maybe)
                                    4)      Purchase collar, leash, dog bed (maybe), crate, tags
             5)      Registration cost (county, municipality) usually a small yearly fee
                                    6)      Potty accidents (poop, pee)

                                    7)     Cost for training
                                  8)      Purchase medication (heartworm prevention meds monthly), flea and tick (some areas are seasonal/spring, summer or warmer climates all year round)
                                    9)   Change in work and after work outings/travel
 Adopting a pet should not be a decision taken lightly.  Considering the holiday season is over, many  people received a pet as a present without understanding what they were getting involved in.  This is a personal experience we have experienced within our family.  A pup we rescued in September was adopted to a family member on Christmas.  We did our best to convey to the family member what to expect and they learned the hard way that they were not ready to be a parent pet.  Within the first week the family member complained and we did our part  in providing guidance and solutions however, the family member was not committed to being a pet parent.  The family member admitted they went into it blindly and didn't take our advice seriously.  As a result the pup is back with us.  This scenario is played out many, many, many times throughout the year.  The person/persons drop the animal off at the shelter and is free to carry on with their life with no regard for the pet.  Then you have people and organizations such as us that come by to pick up the pieces.  Animals are not disposable and are NOT for everybody.  If you or someone you know is considering adoption but have questions we provide a service, "Paw Consulting" where we go through a process to help determine if a person or family is ready for a pup which includes a mock adoption (fostering a pup for a trial period). At the end of the process the person or family will know for sure that they are ready to be a pet parent.  More information is on our website

Is It Open Season on Pit Bulls?

If you are on any of the social media outlets or listening to the news you’ve heard about the blatant assault on pit bulls. In the month of January alone there has been a minimum of 12 incidents in which police have shot and killed several dogs. The latest incident happened in Philadelphia, PA where a person picked up a stray dog, put the dog in the back of the vehicle where another dog was and a fight ensued. The person was unable to separate the dogs and decided to call the police. When the police arrived they immediately started shooting which ended with both dogs being killed.  Another well publicized incident was where a pregnant woman was locked out of her house.  She feared something had happened to her husband so she called the police.  By the time the police arrived at the home the woman’s husband who was in the house sleeping opened the door. The pit bull dogs were excited to see their female guardian and as most dogs do they greeted their guardian excitedly.  The trigger happy officer asked the very pregnant woman to get her dog. The woman attempted to oblige when the officer opened fire shooting both dogs. One dog fled and the other dog died in his guardians arms. Another incident was where a police officer opened fire on 5 CAGED dogs in an animal shelter citing “he feared for his life.” The dogs were caged so what was there to fear other than fear and ignorance?  There are many more stories such as these which beg the question is it open season on pit bulls? Are pit bulls that feared it warrants an officer who’s suppose to be calm and assertive to take his/her gun out and start shooting without assessing the situation? Don’t they deal with people who can and have shot, stabbed and, beat them yet very few of these criminals are shot and killed by the police. Yes, a dog of any breed can and has caused damage to people and other dogs.  We’re not negating the potential damage a pit bull can cause however, in any of the cases we’ve spoken about in this blog and many others the dogs were not the aggressor. The incident where the person picked up the “stray” dog and put it in the back of the vehicle didn’t make the smartest decision. In many of the cases the officer will say “they didn’t have a choice” as our grandfather, a former Marine, told us “you always have a choice, both choices can look bad but one is better than the other.” With that being said the choice should always be to refer back to training and assess the situation. Most officers do not receive more training after they leave the police academy which is a travesty in itself. Many trainers have offered training at a reduced price or free of charge to better equip officers in the field when they’re answering a “dangerous” dog on the loose call. How many more families have to endure the loss of their beloved pet or be afraid of the police when walking their dog because of the “breed?” As a community lets come together to end the senseless violence against our pets and “stray” animals.