Thursday, June 26, 2008

PSA: Before Getting a Dog

I have been contacted three times already this week from rescues asking for help. Each time, the reason as to why the dog has been turned into rescue or a shelter were ridiculous ones. Jugs and I were talking, and I said, "I wish there were counselors at no-kill animal shelters that could help interview people for the right dogs for their lifestyles." Here is a short list of things to consider before getting a dog:

1. Type of dog: This is the first item that needs to be addressed. Do your research into the breed of dog you're thinking about getting. If you rent, does your landlord allow that breed/size of dog? How large does it get when it is fully mature? Does it shed? What is the breed known for? Working, herding, companion? What is the breed's known temperament, and what is the breed's known health issues.

2. Cost of dog: While some people get "free" puppies or low cost dogs, the same things must occur. Your dogs must be vaccinated (at least a Rabies/Distemper as is required by law). Think about the size of the dog you want AND how much food/water it eats and drinks. Think about all of the supplies involved with having a dog and any special needs that are required or may arise. Don't forget, if you rent, you may be required to pay a pet deposit or pet rent.

3. A lifelong friend: Dogs are not items to be discarded like trash or turned into the shelter for "being too expensive to feed" or "too big." They are not meant to be chained or kept outside away from their family 24/7. Dogs are pack animals and need to be with their pack. Have you ever gone outside to a kennel or a dog chained? It is more than happy to see people (or aggressive). You think, "man that dog is hyper!" I bet you that dog wouldn't be hyper if it was with its family.

1 comment:

Amanda said...

At the Lee County Humane Society (where I got Beatrice, and where I would have gotten Callie if I hadn't found her at the vet first), you do go through a pre-screening process. Because we're a college town, they get a lot of dogs turned in and most of the time because a fraternity got bored of them. It took me about two weeks to get a kitten; I had to answer a bunch of questions, reassure them that I had a healthy cat already in my care, and leave them time to contact both my vet and my property manager. When I was finally cleared, then I got to take Bea-Bea home. I guess I figured all shelters did this...but I was apparently wrong.