Category Archives: adopting

Let’s Start a New Black Friday Trend!

black friday nikitaBy Julia Williams

For many people, Black Friday is all about shopping. People go a little crazy, even going so far as trampling and pummeling others, all in the name of getting a good deal on this, that or the other. Personally, I steer clear of all retail stores on Black Friday because the whole thing strikes me as madness. Yes, you can get Christmas gifts for a great price…but is it worth it? I guess it’s an individual decision.

In any event, today I am thinking not about Black Friday shopping but about a different black …all of the black cats and black dogs that are in animal shelters, waiting for someone to pick them so they can have the life and home they deserve.

black friday maja dumatHistorically, black pets have the hardest time getting adopted, for a variety of reasons. Some people believe the myth that black cats are bad luck. Others won’t adopt a black dog or cat because he’s not “colorful” enough or they don’t think a black pet has much personality because they can’t see his facial expressions as well as those with lighter colored faces.

I don’t get it. Judging a cat or a dog by the color of his fur? That’s more bizarre to me than the Black Friday shopping mayhem. I have two black cats – Mickey and Rocky – and if I had a negative bias toward black pets, I’d have missed out on being loved by two of the coolest cats I know. Their black fur is not very colorful, but their personalities? Now that’s an entirely different story!

The motto often used by shelters and rescue groups is “adopt, don’t shop!” It doesn’t have anything to do with Black Friday, but can you imagine what would happen black friday beverlyif every person who went out shopping today, went to an animal shelter instead and picked out a black pet for their family? Millions of wonderful animals would be “home” for Christmas, that’s what!

However you spend this day, I hope you stay safe and warm.

Top photo by Nikita/Flickr
Middle photo by Maja Dumat/Flickr
Bottom photo by Beverly Goodwin/Flickr

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Judging a Cat By the Color of Its Coat

By Julia Williams

You’ve probably heard these stereotypes about our feline friends: black cats are bad luck; tortoiseshell cats have a feisty attitude (“tortitude”); tuxedo cats are very loving; calico cats are always crazy; ginger cats are super friendly; while white cats are aloof or shy.

People (and even some veterinarians) pre-judge cats by the color of their coat all the time, but is there any truth to the stereotypes? Can a cat’s coat color predict behavior and personality?

Plenty of people who share their home with a tortoiseshell will tell you their cat does indeed have that aforementioned tortitude, but I have to wonder how much of that is perception rather than reality. In other words, perhaps they heard about tortitude somewhere along the way, and projected that stereotype onto their cat. If someone has a preconceived notion that all tortoiseshell cats act a certain way, they may subconsciously look for things that substantiate this. Then too, it seems to me that every housecat could be perceived as having a spunky attitude, at least some of the time. That is the nature of a cat, more or less.

“Black cat syndrome” is a somewhat different story. Shelter workers say that black cats typically have a much harder time getting adopted than their more colorful counterparts. Some believe it’s because of the “bad luck” myth and purported association with witches, while others think it has more to do with the fact that darker colored cats are harder to see and observe in the shelter cages.

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How to Pick the Right Age Dog for Your Lifestyle

By Laurie Darroch

Breed is not the only thing you should consider when deciding to adopt a dog. The age of the dog you choose is also an important factor. You want a dog that fits your location, energy level, patience level and lifestyle. What things should be considered in the choice?

Puppies are adorable and seem like a wonderful choice, but they take constant supervision, consistent and regular training, and positive behavior reinforcement. They are not the right choice for everyone who is considering making a new fur baby part of their lives.

Take into consideration the fact that training is around the clock. Teaching a puppy to potty train, for instance, involves constant monitoring, reinforcement of good and bad behavior, and the almost certain possibility of accidents happening. Think of a puppy as a child without a diaper. They go when they need to, wherever they need to. Their control is not the same as an older, trained dog whose digestive functions have matured. Potty training a puppy may mean multiple night trips outside, even in the winter or rain. Like a human baby, you are at the beck and call of their needs, not yours.

Feeding is more of a challenge with a puppy. They are constantly ravenous. Their higher metabolisms burn through the energy their food provides more quickly than an older dog. They may require multiple smaller feedings each day. That means more attention to feeding schedules more often, every day. It takes time to adjust to a feeding schedule.

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Tips for Finding a Dog Rescue Group

By Suzanne Alicie

Although I’m not in the market for a new dog at the moment, when the time comes I will get a rescue dog. There are plenty of great dogs in need of a forever home out there. But what if you’re looking for a rescue dog to adopt, yet still want to get a purebred or a specific breed? That’s when you need to know how to find a rescue program for the type of dog you’re looking for.

Check with Breeders

Many dog breeders are approached when a dog needs a home, but they can’t take in all the dogs of a breed so they need to be able to tell people who to get in touch with for a rescue. Because breeders specialize in a specific breed, they often know a lot of people who deal with the same kind of dogs. When a person cares deeply about a breed and wants to be helpful, they will know of a reputable rescue where you can find the dog you’re looking for.

Look Online

Simply use your search engine to find rescue groups and then narrow down the search with the breed you are looking for. BUT keep in mind that not all rescues are the same. Do a little research, check out their website, and try to locate people who have worked with the rescue to make sure it is a reputable program.  Facebook is a great way to find out what people think of an organization and what their experiences have been.

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Should I Adopt Two Adult Cats at the Same Time?

By Langley Cornwell

My mother-in-law recently decided to add a heartbeat or two to her solitary life. We went to the animal shelter with her because she wanted our advice and moral support. I’m amazed that my husband and I didn’t come home with another four-legged family member, but that’s beside the point.

She set out to adopt an adult cat because she was afraid she wouldn’t be able to keep up with a kitten or adolescent cat’s high energy level. What’s more, we know that adult cats are harder to place and, as a rule, we try to help the animals like that.

When we entered the shelter, we told the staff what we were there for. They offered helpful advice on various adoptable cats that fit her criteria. After a brief conversation, we walked the aisles, surveying the available cats and watching my mother-in-law’s reactions. It was during this time that the shelter manager approached us and started in with her targeted and compassionate sales pitch. Mind you, this is the same shelter that has – thankfully – talked my husband and me into many pets that we didn’t intend to bring home. They’re good, very good!

We all know that adults and especially children gravitate towards the kittens and puppies in a shelter. Let’s face it, older animals just don’t radiate the same cuteness that the snuggly little kittens and puppies do, so adult animals often get ignored. Even so, there are real and measurable benefits to adding an adult pet (or two) to your family.

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How to Find the Right Dog for Your Lifestyle

By Linda Cole

Finding the right dog isn’t always easy. There are nearly 500 dog breeds recognized by kennel clubs throughout the world. With so many choices, purebred and mixed, how do you find the right dog for your lifestyle? Basically, it’s a combination of common sense, doing your homework on breeds, and understanding that some dogs can be harder to handle.

Purebred or Mixed?

You want to feel comfortable around your dog. The first thing to consider is why you want a dog. Secondly, do you want a purebred or a mixed breed? If cost is a consideration, visit your local shelter or rescue groups for purebreds and mixed breeds, or contact breed specific rescues for purebred dogs. Buying from a responsible breeder is more expensive, but you will learn about your pup’s history and health, see his parents, and have someone happy to answer all of your questions. They will have questions for you, as well.

Energy Level

Do you want a dog that watches you toss a ball and then gives you a look that says, “You’re the one who threw it over there. I’m not going to get it,” one who is eager and ready for a five mile run, or something in between? Regardless of size or breed, all dogs need some daily exercise and some need more than others. How much exercise are you willing to give your dog each day? A bored dog can be destructive if he isn’t given an outlet to get rid of pent up energy. A daily walk adds stimulation to your dog’s mind. We would get bored doing the same thing every day, and so do dogs that never get outside their enclosed area.

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