If you are a long time reader of She Scribes, you know that we have a mini-zoo at home. We have five cats and a Goldfish. We had a dog, Espn (pronounced Es-pin), but we had to put him to sleep a month ago. I’m still heartbroken of that and miss him terribly. I still say “good bye” to him every day when I leave for work from force of habit.
We adopted Espn from our local animal shelter. Our Goldfish we won at a county fair seven years ago. Four of our five cats were adopted from the local animal shelter. Our oldest cat was a feral (wild) kitten that we took in. Normally wild kittens are not easy to domesticate, but we lucked out with Velcro (the wild kitten who is now 15+ years old) because his litter was born on a neighbor’s balcony. The neighbor took the kittens in right away and only let the mother cat in to feed them. They were handled by a human from the time they were born.
We would never, ever buy a pet. Sure, I would love to own a pure bred Golden Retriever or Labrador Retriever. But I couldn’t bring myself to spend thousands of dollars on a pet when there are so many wonderful dogs, cats and other pets desperate to find a “forever home” in animal shelters across the country.
For a short while I volunteered at our local animal shelter taking photos of the pets there were used on PetFinder and the local newspaper. I had a difficult time taking the animal’s photos because it broke my heart to see these beautiful, loving, amazing creatures spending their lives in itty bitty cages. I also spent more time playing with the animals than I did taking their photos.
Below are some of the photos I took of the animals at our local shelter.
Aren’t they beautiful? I hope they all found their “forever homes.”
I’ve always felt it was important to let shelter animals know that someone loves and cares about them. For that reason my family has always made it a point to visit the shelter regularly to walk the dogs, give them treats, pet them and simply talk to them. We wanted the animals to know that there are people out there that DO care about them.
If we had a bigger home or a yard, I would adopt more animals in a heartbeat. I wish I had a farm because I would be able to give even more animals a loving home.
There are many reasons why adopting a shelter pet is a wonderful idea.
- You will be saving a life. And providing a safe, secure loving environment to a dog or cat who really needs it.
- Very often rescue or re-homed dogs are already house-trained and have some basic behavioral training as well.
- Shelters and rescue groups often include vaccinations, micro-chipping, and spaying or neutering in the adoption fee.
You can check out more reasons here.
You should consider adopting an older pet too. I know that puppies and kittens are adorable, but older pets offer a lot as well.
- There are no surprises with a senior pet. Their personality traits are established already and they are normally very accepting of whatever life throws at them. The puppyhood or kittenhood headaches of house-training are well behind them, and their more mellow demeanor is a comfort to live with.
- Senior pets are also usually less destructive. The urge to chew and scratch is much less likely to cause problems. Dogs are often content with a sedate walk in the neighborhood or a gentle game of fetch as a form of exercise, as opposed to the more energy draining needs of a younger dog who needs more activity. Many senior cats will also still enjoy chasing that little red dot of the laser pointer, but perhaps for not quite as long as their kitten counterparts.
Here are some other things to consider before adopting a senior pet.
If you are not sure if you want to adopt a pet, or you want to get a feel for what type of pet would best suit your family and your lifestyle, consider fostering a pet.
We fostered a set of kittens when they were only one day old. They were found in a dumpster at a local industrial park. We didn’t know a thing about nursing kittens, but we quickly learned.
Sadly, one of the kittens had to be put to sleep (she had a lung disease that was going to kill her). We continued to care for the other kitten until she was old enough to be put up for adoption. After having her in our lives for so many month, and raising her since she was one day old, there was no way we could put her up for adoption. We ended up adopting her. If you read my blog regularly the kitten I am referring to is Bella.
If adopting or fostering is not something you are ready or able to do at this time, local animal shelters and rescue groups can always use volunteers, donations and monetary help. Pet food, cleaning supplies, pet supplies (formula, leashes, toys…), old blankets and pillows are just some of the items most pet shelters need on a regular basis. We also donate our old bedding and towels to the local shelter. Animals would rather sleep on sheets or pillow cases then a cold, concrete floor.
Money is always needed, but if all you can give it your time, volunteers are also always needed to socialize the animals, feed them, talk them, clean their cages and help out at adoption events.
Check out a list of ways you can help that won’t break the bank here, many of which you can do as a family!
One animal shelter, Eastwood Ranch Foundation, has launched a website that connects rescue groups and animal shelters with a nationwide network of pet fosters and transporters. The Eastwood Ranch Foundation is a non-profit animal rescue organization founded by actress/director Alison Eastwood.
The website is FosterFurkids.com.
To support the launch of FosterFurkids.com, the first 100 people that sign up to be a foster pet parent will receive a Petcurean care package.
Petcurean is a pet food company that offers dog and cat foods made with with organic ingredients. They also offer food for specific health requirements, including foods for pets who require grain free foods and/or foods with limited ingredients. Our dog did better with limited ingredient dog food. He had a very sensitive stomach. So far our cats can eat just about anything, but I prefer to give them more natural foods over the stuff you typically find in a grocery store.
To learn more about Petcurean foods, and to find out which food would be best for your four-legged family member, check out Petcurean’s Food Finder.
If you are interested in learning more about Petcurean, you can visit them online at Petcurean.com. The brand is also found on social media. All of their links are found at the bottom of their website.
Have YOU ever adopted or fostered a pet from an animal shelter or for a rescue group? Have you ever adopted a senior pet? I’d love to hear your personal stories. Feel free to tell me about your experiences in the comment section of this post.
*I have partnered with Petcurean to bring you this information. I received pet food and compensation for my participation. The opinions expressed are my own (unless otherwise noted) and not influenced in any way.