Things You Should Know

Things You Should Know

Benefits of Spaying and Neutering Holiday Hazards
Heartworms in Texas – Not “If” but WHEN Halloween Horrors
Breed Specific Adoptions Whose Turn Is It?
Free To A Good (?) Home Disaster Preparedness
Pet-Proofing Your Home Spay/Neuter Assistance List
Deadly Heat in Cars Top Ten Reasons Adopt Older Dog
Pets and Pickup Trucks Are You Ready For A Pet?
Fireworks Hazards General Guidelines For Puppy Shots

Unless otherwise noted, these articles were written by a member of True Blue Animal Rescue
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For the source of these articles and more information on animals visit

All Creatures Great and Small


Benefits of Spaying and Neutering

During the Spring, and other times of the year as well, nature is remarkably abundant. Unfortunately, nature is overly abundant when it comes to the domestic pet population.

For decades now, shelters and pounds all over the nation have been literally overflowing with homeless animals. The numbers given vary somewhere between 6 to 8 million cats and dogs which enter shelters every year, and 3 to 4 million are put to death because they have no place to go. These are the “fortunate” ones. That 6 to 8 million figure does not include the uncounted millions who meet a far worse, lingering, death by starvation, disease, or roadside accident.

A recent survey revealed that more than 80 percent of the animals taken to shelters must be euthanized. The average cost of handling each animal is about $35. Millions of dollars are spent annually just to dispose of the bodies of euthanized animals.

It’s a tragic reality in our throw-away society that the lives of innocent creatures are held in such small regard, and many people fail to understand the urgency or extent of the problem – as well as the absolute necessity of spaying and neutering pets.

In addition to alleviating untold suffering to animals in general, having one’s cat or dog altered has many benefits for the individual pet and for the pet’s owner as well:

·         Neutering decreases and often eliminates diseases to which intact male dogs are prone later in life – including diseases of the prostate, testicles and other tissues influenced by male hormones. Testicular and perianal gland cancers are the second and third most frequently diagnosed tumors in older intact male dogs. Neutered male cats are much less prone to spraying.

  • Spaying female cats and dogs entirely eliminates diseases of the ovaries and uterus, and, if performed before their first or second heat, drastically decreases the chance of mammary gland cancer. Mammary cancer is very common in older intact females, and is the most common cancer to spread to the lungs.
  • Neutering greatly reduces the risk of injuries and illnesses to males. Unaltered males tend to roam, increasing their chances of being killed or injured. They also tend to fight more, which guarantees wounds and infections.
  • The monetary cost of altering a cat or dog is much less in the long run than maintaining the health of an older, unfixed pet.
  • Contrary to what some people think, it is a myth that an altered animal becomes fat and lazy after surgery. The only change in behavior is positive; generally, a pet will tend to be less aggressive and more loving.
  • In addition, there is great benefit to the community. Fewer strays running loose means less spreading of diseases to pets and to people, less danger of rabies outbreaks, and less annoyance over ripped up garbage bags, torn up gardens, noises at night, etc. There is also less cost in tax dollars to build, run, and maintain animal pounds.

This is everyone’s problem and everyone’s responsibility. The issue will not be resolved by trying to ignore it, or pretending it doesn’t exist. For every cat and dog that finds a good home, there are dozens which do not, and the cost in needless suffering to helpless animals is cruel and unconscionable. Have your pets neutered or spayed, and encourage others to do the same. Don’t put it off.

Related Link: Animal Spay and Neuter Assistance List

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Heartworms in Texas – Not “If’ But WHEN

Did you know that if you live in Texas and your dog stays outside or goes outside that he has a 100% chance of getting heartworms? In our climate, where it never gets cold enough to kill off all the mosquitoes, your dogs are at high-risk. In Texas, heartworms are not something your dog *may* get; heartworms are something your dog *will* get – it’s only a matter of time. And heartworms, if left untreated, will kill your beloved dog. Treatment is expensive: $400-600, so preventing heartworms is much less costly in the long run, not to mention healthy for your pet!

That is why it is essential to give your dog Heartworm preventative each and every month. It is not optional! Before starting your dog on a preventative program, you must have her tested for heartworms. Your vet will write out a prescription for Heartworm preventative which you can then have filled at your vet’s office or at low-cost on-line pet supply catalogs like www.kvvet.com . Use the stickers that come with the heartworm preventative and put them on your calendar, so your dog receives the medicine the same day every month. Now you can relax, knowing your dog is protected.

 

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Breed Specific Adoptions – Why Buy When You Can Adopt?

Did you know that approximately 25% of all animals entering shelters each year are purebreds? If you are looking for a dog or cat, and you have your heart set on a specific breed of animal, there are rescue groups all over the country set up just to find homes for adoptable cats and dogs of specific breeds. Many of them come complete with pedigree papers. The same is true for horses and other large animals.
Please consider adopting one of these animals instead of contributing to the pet over-population by buying an animal from a breeder or a pet shop. Just contact one of the groups or ask at your local animal shelter. Not only will you be saving a life, but you will save money as well. Below are website links which take you to lists for specific breeds.
*Cat breed rescue groups list – http://www.netcat.org/rescue.html
*Dog breed rescue groups list – http://www.thepoop.com/search_rescue.asp

*Horse breed rescue groups list – http://www.netpets.com/horses/horsresc/horsgrp.html

 

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Free To a Good (?) Home

For those of you needing to place an animal, be advised that offering to give the pet free of charge to someone you don’t know is a very bad idea. Unbelievable as it seems, and more often than you would guess, people respond to “free to good home” offers for reasons other than wanting a pet.
Some turn right around and sell the animal to research labs; others use young or small animals as “bait” for training dogs for illegal fighting, or even feed them to pet snakes!
Sadly, these and other gruesome activities are not at all uncommon nowadays, so please – if you are unable to find the animal a home with someone whom you can be absolutely certain will treat it well, take it to a local animal shelter.
Don’t take a chance on condemning a helpless creature to possible abuse and torture. It isn’t fair, and it isn’t necessary.

 

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Pet-Proofing Your Home

If ever there is an opportunity to confirm the validity of Murphy’s Law, it is when a new pet is brought into a home. When an animal – be it a gerbil, a cat, a dog, or whatever – is introduced to a new environment, it will want to become familiar with its surroundings as soon as possible. It is normal and necessary for the animal to investigate everything. There are however, potential hazards in all households that the curious creatures must be protected against. Puppies, kittens, and other small animals are most at risk, but precautions should be taken to insure the safety of even adult cats and dogs.
Pet-proofing a home is much like child-proofing one. Begin by trying to put yourself in your pet’s place. Look around the premises while keeping in mind the animal’s desire to discover and check out all the nooks, crannies, and every object in the house. Keep Murphy’s Law in mind; whatever can go wrong, will go wrong. If the animal can climb, be sure you look up as well as around and down.

The list of possible problems includes, but is not limited to:

  • Plastic bags of all kinds – especially those which have contained food; these often attract and then suffocate animals, as can containers where little heads might get stuck.
    Any utensil, string, or container which has food, or even the smell of food on it, is an attraction.

  • Cords of every variety; electrical ones can deliver a lethal shock, and all (telephone, drapery, Venetian blinds, appliance, etc.) can strangle an animal.
  • Open commodes, mop buckets, bathtubs, swimming and wading pools; many pets drown or are poisoned by chemicals used in the water.
  • Any object smaller than the animal’s mouth; paperclips, thumbtacks, rubber bands, needles and thread, buttons, staples, erasers, jewelry, marbles, fish-hooks, etc. to name just a few of these items.
  • Heavy objects on the edges of counters, shelves, or tables which can fall or be pulled down by a cord.
  • Fireplaces, lighted candles, humidifiers, space hearers, barbecue grills, open ovens, and stovetops; all are trouble spots.
  • Open doors on washers, dryers, cabinets, and even refrigerators; all are particularly inviting to cats.
  • Unscreened windows and balconies; many pets fall from these and die each year.
    Electrical outlets, running appliances, fans motorized tools, and automatic garage doors.
  • Poorly made toys which can be torn into pieces, have small parts that come off, or elastic string which breaks off.
  • Potential poisons from a variety of sources that abound in a typical house and yard.

With a little common sense and imagination, the problem areas can be identified and corrected. Taking this small amount of trouble ahead of time can prevent a ton of trouble and grief for you and your pet in the future.

 

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Deadly Heat in Cars

On hot summer days, the temperature inside a car will climb more rapidly than you would possibly imagine.

On an 85° day for example, the temperature inside of a car (even with the windows down) will reach 120°. On hotter days it will go even higher.

A dog’s normal body temperature is 101.5° to 102.2° Fahrenheit. A dog can withstand a body temperature of 107°-108° for only a very short time before suffering irreparable brain damage or death. Obviously, the same goes for cats and other animals as well.

Don’t leave any animal in a car for any reason. Even when you think you will be gone for “only a minute.” Dozens of pets needlessly die this tragic way every summer.

If for any reason, an animal should be overcome by heat exhaustion, immediately soak it down with cool water and take to a veterinarian as soon as possible.

 

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Pets and Pickup Trucks

Every year, thousands of dogs are injured, and dozens more are killed, from riding unrestrained in the back of open-bed pickup trucks. They frequently fall, jump or are thrown from the vehicle. Flying debris and insects often damage delicate eye-tissue, ears, and noses.
If at all possible, let your pets ride up front with you or leave them at home. If you must carry your animals in the back of your truck, please use a secured crate or restraining harness to help protect your pet. The harness needs to be tethered on both sides of the truck so that the dog is held in the center of the truck-bed and can’t be thrown over the side and dragged along the road.
Also remember, when the sun heats up the metal truck-bed, the bottom of your pet’s feet can be easily burned. A rubber mat can prevent this and help provide traction for the animal. Be aware that without shade, your pet can become over-heated – even on days with moderate temperatures.

 

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Fireworks Hazards

 To some people, fireworks are as American as apple pie. They find the sparks and pops and bangs exciting. However, what some people may find exciting and fun (since we know what is going on), is fearful and alarming to most animals. All that noise and confusion can create real chaos and terror among animals. As a result, every year during times when fireworks are commonly used (Fourth of July, New Year’s Eve, etc.), many animals are lost, injured, or even killed as a result of their reactions to the commotion.

It is very common for household pets to run away from home and become lost or hurt because they are frightened by fireworks nearby. And the danger is not only to cats and dogs. Large animals – particularly horses – also react unpredictably with sometimes disastrous results. Horses will often panic and run into fences or other obstacles. Every year there are reports of seriously injured horses and deaths of horses attributed directly to their response to the noise of fireworks.

You can prevent these needless tragedies in two ways. If you have small animals, make every effort to keep them indoors during times when fireworks are being used in the neighborhood. At the very least, keep them behind a fence and keep an eye on them.

If you have horses or other large animals, try to pasture them away from the roadway and anywhere there might be fireworks going off. Try to stay with them and keep them calm. By being near at hand, you will be able to come to their aid more quickly if they get into trouble and need attention and help.

Please consider not using fireworks at all. They are dangerous for people as well as animals. In addition to causing direct bodily injury, fire hazards are very real, and dozens of fires are started every year due to fireworks. Instead, plan on attending one of the professional fireworks displays in your area.

If you do decide to use fireworks remember they are not toys, and use caution at all times. Be aware that most cities and many counties now ban the use of fireworks by individuals and you could be subject to fines and/or imprisonment for breaking the law. If you are using fireworks even in the country, be considerate of your neighbors and their animals. Don’t use fireworks near animals or children or during high winds or dry conditions. Ideally, notify your neighbors in advance of your plans to set off any fireworks.

 

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Holiday Hazards

During busy and festive times of the year, such as Thanksgiving and Christmas, pet owners need to be alert to the potential dangers that exist for their animals. A few precautions will prevent unnecessary grief.
DECORATIONS: Sharp or breakable ornaments, ribbons, yarn, angel hair, icicles, and tinsel are all very real hazards to dogs and cats, who often ingest these items when attempting to play with them. These are NOT appropriate toys.
TREE: Pine tar from needles, sprayed on preservatives, and flocking are all poisonous – as is the water in the tree pan which animals might drink. Electrical cords and strings of lights can give a deadly shock when chewed on,. Instead of sharp “fish-hook” hangers, use green or red pipe cleaners for attaching ornaments; twist tightly and they won’t fall off. Also, be sure to secure tree from falling over onto pets.
PLANTS: Poinsettias, mistletoe, and holly are very poisonous to pets. Keep them out of reach.
FOOD: All that rich, fatty dressing and gravy can make your pet sick. Turkey bones can splinter and lodge in an animal’s throat or intestines. The string used while cooking the turkey is tempting and hazardous; dispose of carefully. Chocolate is poisonous to animals, and alcohol is equally fatal. Keep all these away from your pet.
OTHER dangers are lighted candles, ribbons tied around a pet’s neck, and open doors through which your pet can dash (often unnoticed) and become lost. Keep collars and I.D. on all cats and dogs in case they escape from your home or yard. When expecting guests, confine animals in a quiet room and keep door closed.
Remember, your pets will be curious and excited by all the activities, and more likely than usual to get into trouble. By taking the proper steps ahead of time, and using a little caution, you can insure that your holiday season is joyful, and not marred by needless tragedy.

 

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 Halloween Horrors

 It is sad but true that there are many dangers in this world for our beloved pets. It is also true that there are people who do not love animals. Instead, they abuse them or even kill them. Halloween brings out an assortment of kooks, crazies and would-be witches, who get a kick out of doing away with cats and dogs in all kinds of vicious ways.

Every year, a week or two before October 31, these individuals start stealing pets or looking for strays to use in their unspeakable acts. Although black cats are preferred, all dogs and cats, and other animals as well, are at risk.
Keep an extra close eye on your pets at this time of year and be alert to strangers in your neighborhood.

On Halloween, it is important to keep your pets indoors. Staying outside can expose them to pranks or accidents. In addition, with all the noise and confusion from trick or treating and other activities, animals can become frightened and run off. Sometimes they will follow children going from house to house and become lost.

So why take chances with the safety of your four-legged friends? Exercise good judgment and err on the side of caution during this season.
Please pass this information along to your friends and neighbors.

 

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Cruelty To Animals; Everyone’s Problem – Everyone’s Business

It’s getting worse. Hardly a day goes by that we don’t hear some stomach-turning story about animal abuse. Most of us are sickened by such reports. We ask ourselves why these things happen, and we wonder what we can do about it. The answer is simple, although it isn’t always easy – GET INVOLVED! We can begin by supporting our local animals shelters as well as well-run national animal organizations. But beyond that, if we are really going to make a difference, we must be willing to take on this responsibility as individuals.
Silence encourages wrongdoing. When we witness abuse or neglect of animals we need to speak up and put a stop to it. If it is a matter of ignorant neglect, sometimes all that is necessary is educating the persons involved, and perhaps offering help in dealing with the situation. If that fails to correct the problem, or if it is a case of deliberate cruelty or torture, then contact the local authority immediately. Do not wait. The animal is suffering, and your action might mean the difference to it between life and death. If the animal is already dead, you could be responsible for saving the life of another animal by stopping the abuser. In any case, the perpetrator must be held accountable for his actions.
Each of us has the capacity to abate the needless tormenting and suffering of animals. When we read or hear about cruelty to animals, we can take the time to share our outrage with others by writing to local newspapers and television stations, and encouraging others to do the same. If the abuse – in the name of “sport” or “games” or “entertainment” – is somehow encouraged or condoned by authorities, as it is in some states and in some other countries, we can write or call officials there to let them know that such activities are intolerable in a civilized society. We can also work to pass or strengthen laws in our own communities. And we can refuse to attend movies, rent videos, or buy books that portray mistreatment of animals as anything but wrong.
For those who might ask why we should concern ourselves with the well-being of animals, consider this – The kind of monsters who abuse animals will abuse people. Power over the powerless, be it an animal or a person, is addictive to these degenerates. This type of conduct always escalates and the more it is allowed, the more it will increase. So, beyond the obvious moral considerations regarding our stewardship over helpless creatures, the safety of human beings is at stake as well. Both adults and children who commit violence against humans almost always have a history of violence towards animals. Animal abuse is evil, and evil feeds on itself.
A society which tacitly condones mistreatment of animals by looking the other way, invites havoc upon itself. A society without pity and compassion on those who are unable to defend themselves is diminished, and its’ people are impoverished.
Cruelty to animals is generally defined as when a person knowingly or intentionally: tortures or seriously overworks an animal; fails to provide necessary food, water, care, or shelter for an animal; abandons an animal; transports or confines an animal in a cruel manner; kills, injures, or administers poison to an animal; causes one animal to fight with another; or uses a live animal as a lure. Animal cruelty convictions (depending on the state) can result in both fines and time in jail.

If you need to report an animal abuse situation, have as much information as possible, readily available when you call:

*Statement of the problem (include dates and weather conditions)
*Species of animal(s) and how many involved
*Address or directions to location of animal(s)
*Name (if known), address, phone number of alleged owner
*Name, address, phone number of witnesses
*Close-up pictures, if possible, of the animal(s) and living conditions

If someone has abused your own animal, take it to a veterinarian and obtain a written, notarized statement as to the animal’s condition, diagnosis of problem and cause, and how the problem can be corrected.
To report a case of cruelty to animals, call the local animal control or police or sheriff’s department. Also call your local animal shelter or rescue organization to see what help and advice they can offer.

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Whose Turn is it?

How many times have you seen a stray animal on the road and wondered why it was there and what was going to become of it?

How many times have you thought that “someone” really should “do something” about all the half-starved, homeless cats and dogs that wander around until they perish from hunger, disease, or injury?

How often do you agonize over the number of animals that must be destroyed every year at the local shelter? These sad-eyed products of someone else’s carelessness and indifference deserve a better fate.

There are many animal shelters and many hard-working volunteers who do their best to alleviate the situation. This is good, but there is a great need for more people who will volunteer their time and energies as well.

If each one of us would be willing to spend just a couple of hours each month, the total effort would go a long way to reduce the suffering of those who are unable to help themselves.

Don’t wait for someone else to take care of the problem. Every person has something of value to contribute. Call your local shelter today and tell them you ready to do your part to improve the odds for al animals to live happy and healthy lives.

 

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Disaster Preparedness For Your Animals

 “No animal left behind.” That phrase should ring in your ears whenever you contemplate the need to evacuate your home due to or during an impending disaster – whether natural or manmade. The “unexpected” can happen to anyone – at anytime. Fires, earthquakes, tornados, hurricanes, floods, train derailments resulting in toxic spills, and factory or pipeline explosions, can all precipitate mandatory evacuation.

By thinking about what you would need to do, and planning ahead, you will be able to mitigate problems and provide protection and care for your entire family – including your pets. Organizing and gathering your supplies ahead of time means you won’t be caught without what you need in an emergency.

Never leave your animals behind thinking “they will be fine” until you return. You have no way of knowing when you will be able to get back to them. It could be days or weeks. Even a few hours of leaving them in harm’s way could put their lives at risk. Local authorities will not allow you back once they have ordered evacuation from an area.

Remember that many emergency shelters will not allow animals inside. However, some will let you bring them in if contained in carriers. Some animal shelters and veterinary clinics will allow temporary housing during times of emergency. Also, many motels and hotels will temporarily suspend normal policies and allow animals during disasters. But if worse comes to worse, your animals are better off with you even if they must stay in the car, than left behind with no one to look after them.

Some tips for being prepared in the event of a disaster:

·        Have a backup plan in case you are not at home when evacuation is necessary. Have an agreement with a neighbor or friend who would have ready access to your animals, and discuss necessary plans of action ahead of time. Make sure they know where your evacuation kit and other needed items are stored, and if at all possible, try to get them acquainted with your animals ahead of time. Write out a detailed list of your animals’ names, behavior, needs, etc. and make several copies. Establish a meeting place outside of the likely evacuated area. Exchange phone, cell, pager numbers, etc.

  • Keep on hand a list of emergency phone numbers such as veterinarian, animal shelters, and other useful numbers such as weather reports, sheriff’s dept., highway patrol, etc.
  • Assemble a basic supply kit for your animals. It should include sufficient supplies for at least 72 hours for each animal. The kit should include: current ID and photos of you with your animals; a way to keep the animals confined or controlled; food and water, and the dishes to hold them; leashes, halters, etc.; sanitation items; shot records; pet first aid kit and medications; toys & familiar bedding.
  • Put collars with names & contact numbers on your animals if at all possible. If they get separated from you, it may make all the difference in reuniting them with you. Multiple copies of photos for handing out would also be very helpful if you are separated from your pets.
  • Blankets, warm clothing, and rain-gear for yourself are important if you must stay in your car or have no building to shelter in. Also useful is a portable radio and plenty of fresh batteries.
  • Keep your pre-packed kit in a handy place and be sure everyone in the family knows where it is. (Be sure to rotate foods and meds so they don’t get old).

·        Be alert to possible disasters and emergencies by keeping up with news and weather reports. Consider buying a scanner – especially if you live in rural areas prone to regular problems such as wildfires, etc.

  • Decide ahead of time where you will go with your animals when you need to evacuate your home, and make sure it is out of the way of the disaster area.
  • Do not wait until the last possible minute to leave. As soon as danger seems like it is coming your way, as soon as the authorities recommend leaving the area – then take your animals and emergency kits and get going. Staying put too long will, at the very least, subject you to traffic jams on the highways, and it will give you fewer options about where you can stay once you get where you are going. Sometimes, your route will be cut off sooner than expected – leaving you without escape.

These simple preparations could save your animals’ lives. Even if your home is destroyed, at least you won’t have the added heartbreak of losing your beloved pets. Every year hundreds of pets die or are lost needlessly because they have been left to fend for themselves. Don’t let this happen to your own four-legged friends.

For more information and help on this subject, as well as current status of disaster areas, see the 
Noah’s Wish
 web site at http://www.noahs-wish.org/ . This website also has an extensive list of instructions for specific animals ranging from amphibians to horses to turtles, etc.

The Noah’s Wish organization also provides emergency assistance in major disasters.

Contact them at:
P.O. Box 997 Placerville, CA 95667
Business Number: (530) 622-9313
Emergency Pagers: 877-575-0128 or 800-746-9390

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Animal Spay and Neuter Assistance List

Washington County and Surrounding Counties

Connie Clinic
Low cost/no cost Spay/Neuter Facility
Brenham, TX

www.animalfriendstexas.org/

Houston Area

Houston Humane Society – 713) 433-6453 – clinic does spay/neuter surgery for $30
www.houstonhumane.org

SNAP (Spay Neuter Assistance Program) – 713 863-0010
www.snapus.org

Brazos Valley

Brazos Animal Shelter – 979-775-5755 – On Finfeather road in Bryan.
Offers spay/neuter rebates at certain times of the year.
www.shelterpets.org

National

Friends of Animals – 1-800-321-PETS – Offers spay/neuter certificates

www.friendsofanimals.org

Click Here for a Printable List with even more Resources


Top Ten Reasons to Adopt an Older Dog

1. Older dogs are often housetrained. You won’t have to go through the difficult stage(s) of teaching a puppy house manners and mopping/cleaning up after accidents.

2. Older dogs are not teething puppies, and won’t chew your shoes and furniture while growing up.

3. Older dogs can focus well because they’ve mellowed. Therefore, they learn quickly.

4. Older dogs have learned what “no” means. If they hadn’t learned it, they wouldn’t have gotten to be “older” dogs.

5. Older dogs settle in easily, because they’ve learned what it takes to get along with others and become part of a pack.

6. Older dogs are good at giving love, once they get into their new, loving home. They are grateful for the second chance they’ve been given.

7. What You See Is What You Get: Unlike puppies, older dogs have grown into their shape and personality. Puppies can grow up to be quite different from what they seemed at first.

8. Older dogs are instant companions — ready for hiking, car trips, and other things you like to do.

9. Older dogs leave you time for yourself, because they don’t make the kinds of demands on your time and attention that puppies and young dogs do.

10. Older dogs let you get a good night’s sleep because they’re accustomed to human schedules and don’t generally need nighttime feedings, comforting, or bathroom breaks.

*Adapted from Labrador Retriever Rescue’s “Top Ten Reasons to Adopt a Rescue

See TBAR’s Adoptable Dogs

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Are You Ready For A Pet?

If you’re like most of us, falling in love with a pet is easy. And no wonder! Sharing your home with a four-legged friend can be one of life’s greatest joys. Dogs, cats, and other pets give us unconditional loyalty and acceptance, provide constant companionship, and even help relieve stress after a hard day’s work.

Adopting a pet, though, is a big decision. Dogs and cats are living beings who require lots of time, money, and commitment – over 20 years’ worth in many cases. Pet ownership can be rewarding, but only if you think through your decision before you adopt a companion.

Things to Consider

The fact that you’re thinking about adopting a pet from an animal shelter, rescue league or humane society means you’re a responsible and caring person. But before you make that final decision to bring a furry friend into your life, take a moment to think about these questions:

Why do you want a pet?

It’s amazing how many people fail to ask themselves this simple question before they get a pet. Adopting a pet just because the kids have been asking for a puppy usually ends up being a big mistake. Don’t forget that pets may be with you even after your children leave home.

Do you have time for a pet?

Dogs, cats, and other animal companions cannot be ignored just because you’re tired or busy. They require food, water, exercise, care, and companionship every day of every year. Many animals have been given up because their owners didn’t realize how much time it took to properly care for them.

Can you afford a pet?

The monetary costs of pet ownership can be quite high. Licenses, training classes, veterinary care, grooming, toys, food, kitty litter, and other expenses add up quickly.

Are you prepared to deal with special problems that only a pet can cause?

Fleas, scratched-up furniture and accidents from animals who aren’t yet housetrained are just a few of the inconveniences that you will face.

Can you have a pet where you live?

Many rental communities don’t allow pets, others have restrictions. Make the necessary inquiries before you bring a pet home.

Is it a good time for you to adopt a pet?

If you’re a student, in the military, or travel frequently as part of your work, waiting until you settle down may be a wise choice.

Are your living arrangements suitable for the animal you have in mind?Adopting an energetic dog or a breed that is unsuitable to share your small apartment (a Border collie), for example, is not a good idea. Choose an animal who will be comfortable in your surroundings.

Who will care for your pet if you go on vacation?

You’ll need either reliable friends and neighbors, or money to pay for a boarding kennel or pet-sitting service.

Will you be a responsible pet owner?

Having your pet spayed or neutered, obeying community leash and licensing laws, and keeping identification tags on your pets are all part of being a responsible pet owner. Of course, giving your pet love, companionship, exercise, a healthy diet, and regular veterinary care are other essentials.

Finally, are you prepared to keep and care for the pet for his or her entire lifetime?

When you adopt a pet, you are making a commitment to care for the animal for his or her lifetime.

Get an Animal for Life

Sure, it’s a long list of questions. But a quick stroll through the animal shelter will help you understand why answering them before you adopt a pet is so important.

Please, think before you adopt. Sharing your life with a companion animal can bring incredible rewards, but only if you’re willing to make the necessary commitments of time, money, responsibility, and love – for the life of the pet.Adapted From HSUS Guidelines

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General Guidelines for Puppy Shots

 Here is a general schedule for “puppy shots” to give your puppy a healthy start. Please check with your veterinarian for more specific guidelines. It is highly recommended that new puppies visit a veterinarian as soon as possible. The veterinarian will then educate the owner on the needs of the new puppy, advise a puppy shot schedule, look for congenital defects as well as look for signs of parasitic or viral infections. If all looks well, the puppy is then started on what is commonly called its “puppy shots.”

6 WEEKS
Examination (for general health)
DHP-PV-CV (1st for distemper parvo/hepatitus/parainfluenza-parvo-carona)
Fecal Flotation (for parasites)
Heartworm Prevention
Flea & Tick Prevention

9 WEEKS
Examination
DHP-PV-CV (2nd)
Fecal Flotation
Heartworm Prevention
Flea & Tick Prevention

12 WEEKS
Examination
DHP-PV-CV (3rd)
Bordetella (Kennel Cough)
Fecal Flotation
Heartworm Prevention
Flea & Tick Prevention

15 WEEKS
Examination
Parvo Vaccine
Rabies – 1 Year (required for every pet in the state of Texas)
Heartworm Prevention
Flea & Tick Prevention

NOTES
• Puppies can be spayed or neutered as early as 6 months old.
• Rabies booster shots are one year later and every three years after that.
• The DHP-PV-CV vaccination or puppy shot protects pups against upper respiratory and gastrointestinal viral diseases.

Adapted From HSUS Guidelines{top}