Don’t shop, adopt your next pet

Published 11:00 pm Saturday, November 28, 2009

Shelter, dog pound, rescue agency, and humane society are all terms that are incorrectly interchanged with each other.

There are many people who think they are all basically the same thing. This could not be further from the truth.

Some of these entities are government ran and some are privately ran. An example of a government ran agency would be a county dog pound. County dog pounds may also be called a “shelter.”

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Many of the government ran agencies are “kill” shelters. Because they are ran by tax dollars, they have limited funds and limited resources. They are usually run by a warden and they take in unwanted or problem dogs and sometimes cats.

These pound puppies are given a small amount of time to be reunited with their owners or to be adopted out. The amount of time varies from area to area.

Sometimes it is a week or two and sometimes, as it is locally, only a few days.

Most rescue agencies are privately ran and funded entirely by the generosity of animal lovers.

Most of these shelters are also called “no kill” shelters. No kill means that animals that are under their care will never be destroyed.

If they are not adopted, they will spend their life with the rescue agency.

Some agencies have facilities were they keep the pets and some have several foster homes that keep the dogs and prep them for adoption.

Both types of agencies have great pets looking for great homes. Even if you desire a purebred pooch, check with one of these agencies.

There is full stock dogs put down everyday in pounds across America. With so many pets needing a home, take a look at shelters before paying a big price.

Think carefully before adopting a shelter dog. Even if some of these pets are on borrowed time, they are still lifetime commitments.

A shelter dog comes with a past. There may be challenges to face such as, fear of humans, food aggressions, aggression towards other dogs or people.

Most of the challenges can be overcome, but will take patience and training. It is important that they do not end up back in the very shelter you rescued them from.

These pets are waiting for a second chance, they are waiting on you. So, the next time you feel like extending your family, check out your local shelter or dog pound.

If you are in the market for a cat, again, check these places out. There are many shelter cats also waiting for new homes.

The more adoption friendly agencies even offer free spays or neuter and sometimes a vet check-up.

This brings me to my last point. As Bob Barker or Drew Carey would say, “Help control the pet population, have your pet spayed or neutered.” If everyone would have this done or breed responsibly, there would not be so many homeless pets. Remember, every dog deserves to be treated like a show dog.

Kate Barker, The BARKer Shop