Archive for February, 2009

Two Of The Same
February 28, 2009

Last week I did a segment with a little black kitten from the CT Humane Society. And nope, I didn’t end up adopting him! WANTED to, but he got scooped… Anyway, during that particular segment, I mentioned that adopting two female cats might cause an issue as most times two females don’t get along all that well. That statement brought about several e-mails on the subject so I thought I’d go into it a bit. By the way – thanks for the input!

 It has been my experience that MOST times, putting two female animals of the same species together can result in anything from an occasional scrapping to an all out issue between the two.

Now, THAT having been said, I need to clarify THAT one, too. Ok, some breeds of dogs (hounds, etc) do fine with two females in the group. They were bred to work in packs (as in hunting dogs) so having more than one female in the group is ok. Other breeds (such as German Shepherds) do NOT do so well with multiple females in the group. A German Shepherd is not a dog that works in a pack – it works by itself. There are exceptions in those groups as well but IN GENERAL, two female dogs don’t do great together. They may co-exist but they usually aren’t bosom buddies.

Now as far as cats go, I’ve found that two females aren’t as friendly with each other as two males or a male and female. It may not be that they actually have it out, but I’ve not seen too many that are WONDERFUL companions to each other.

Hope that settles it! Sometimes it works but most times it’s less than loving.

Now that brings me to another thought. What do YOU think? We tried to start this going a while back and drifted off from it at some point. I’d like to know what you, the reader, the viewer, want to know! Is there a topic you’d like me to check into? Got a quick question you want answered?

E-mail us at Lost & Pound!

Wild Animals As Pets
February 20, 2009

When I was a kid there was an exotic pet shop in Rocky Hill on the Silas Deane Highway.  They sold de-scented skunks.  I BEGGED my mother for one.  I wanted one SO badly!  Imagine that – having a wild animal as a PET!!! How COOL would THAT be!  Well, Mom said no and that was that.

 

Then there was this animal shelter that had spider monkeys!  I BEGGED my mother to let me get one.  How COOL would THAT be to have a MONKEY!!!  Mom said no.

 

So maybe Mom DID know best because a few years later ALL wild animals were banned for sale to private citizens.  The state said no more and that was that.  No more skunks being sold at pet stores and no more spider monkeys, either.

 

So recently, we’ve heard about a chimp named Travis who attacked his owner’s friend and everyone is wondering just HOW could this woman, a private citizen, be allowed to have a chimp????  Well, as it turns out she was authorized by the USDA and the Department of Environmental Protection to keep Travis after the laws changed about private citizens having wild animals as pets because she already HAD Travis.  She had all the permits, etc., that she needed to legally have Travis.  She had been inspected and accredited and was legally able to keep him. 

Now what about wildlife rehabilitators?  THEY have wild animals and THEY’RE private citizens?  Well, rehabilitators are just that – rehabilitators.  The idea is not to KEEP the animal, it is to make it well and release it back into the wild.  Those that can not be released are turned over to licensed nature centers and zoos.  And rehabilitators are also licensed by the state Department of Environmental Protection.

 

But WHY do wild animals not make good pets?  Simple – wild is wild.  It doesn’t matter that a wild animal was hand raised since infancy in a domesticated environment.  The fact is that a wild animal will ALWAYS have wild animal tendencies and at some point in its life it will show those tendencies.  It’s usually around the time that the animal goes through puberty and becomes sexually mature that these tendencies come to light.

 

Even animals such as Wolf Hybrids (crosses between wolves and dogs) are illegal, and with good reason.  They will show wolf tendencies and will most likely get themselves into trouble at some point.

 

Now if the aforementioned information doesn’t convince you that it’s a bad idea to keep a wild animal as a pet, remember this…. The fine for keeping a wild animal (and not being a licensed wildlife rehabilitator) is $100.00 per day, PER ANIMAL.

 

 

Adopting Pets with Special Needs
February 14, 2009

Every once in a while we get a request to take in an animal with what is termed “special needs”. The “special needs” can be anything from having Diabetes to having a missing limb, etc. Once these animals come into rescue, we try our best to help them get into homes that are able to address these issues. Most times, though, these animals don’t have a clue that they have ANYTHING that needs extra care!
hank
Such is the case with Hank. He’s a Treeing Walker Coonhound. He’s clueless that one of his legs is missing a foot. When you meet him, you’ll see that he’s just a big goober dog that is VERY happy to make your acquaintance! Hank may LOOK a bit different, but he’s just a normal, active, friendly pooch looking for a home.

Next is Rocky. Now when Rocky first came into Bandit’s Place, I did notice that there was something different about him. The more I got to know him, the more I realized that Rocky’s sight is poor. I took him to my veterinarian and found that he does have trouble seeing. So Rocky will require a fenced yard with a quiet family. Maybe another dog, too, so as to feel more comfortable. We’ll know his new family when we meet them!

rocky

So how DO you treat an animal with a disability? Easy! You treat them just like you would any OTHER animal! Set boundaries, get training, put them on daily medications if needed for that health issue. Love them but don’t pamper them. Remember, THEY don’t know they’ve got “special issues”. They think they’re just like everyone else! Don’t treat them like they’ll break or they’ll end up running your life and your house!

And don’t avoid them because you think they’re different or that they won’t live as long as “normal” pets. Pets with special needs can live just as long as pets without special needs. And the love they will give you is just as real and just as deep.

I have a friend, Carrie, who runs Out to Pasture Rescue. Carrie takes in pets with special needs. She’s got a whole house of pets that have no clue they’ve got any issues. They run around in doggie diapers or pet wheelchairs and they get into as much mischief as any other dog. She loves them and they cherish her. They know she’s said “yes” when most people say “no”.

So the next time you see a pet you might like to bring into your family, and that pet is advertised as having “special needs”, please look beyond the wording and look into the eyes of that animal. Just like Hank and Rocky, they simply want a place to call home.

Picking an Animal Rescue
February 7, 2009

Now is the time of year when most folks start thinking about adopting a pet. Folks start browsing sites like http://www.Petfinder.com and start becoming more aware of the adoption process.

Every rescue I know of has an application that needs to be completed and processed in order for that person or family to be eligible to adopt a pet from that rescue. We, as rescues, have to ask you, as adopters, a bunch of questions that might seem a bit personal or a bit off. But we need to ask you these questions to find out if the pet you’re looking at from our rescue is really the best match for you.

But what about YOU asking US about US? Why not? You’re looking for a long-term companion and you’re looking at US to provide that for you. So why NOT ask us? Well, here are a few questions you might just want to ask a rescue…

Are you a registered, non-profit organization? It takes a lot to get your non-profit status and we’ve got to jump through a lot of hoops to keep it. A rescue that has obtained this (or is in the process of) shows dedication. Registered, non-profit organizations have to submit reports of income several times a year so they’re monitored by the State.

How long have you been doing this? This is kind of self-explanatory…

What breed to you specialize in? This is an important question. I don’t know much about Australian Cattle Dogs. They’re not a breed I usually take in. I don’t have the energy for them so they’re never really a breed I considered rescuing so you’d rarely see one on my site. Now German Shepherds and hounds – THEY’RE my breeds. I can talk with you about either and know my stuff. If I had a Cattle Dog, I’d be lost. You want a Cattle Dog? I’ll call my friend, Cheryl – SHE knows THOSE dogs….

Is there a fee to submit an application? Ask this BEFORE you submit one. Is the application fee refundable if you don’t pass the application process?

What is your adoption fee? Adoption fees vary by rescue – some are very high, some are more reasonable. But ASK what it is and what it includes – Spay or neuter? Vaccinations?

What is your return policy? If you adopt a pet and it doesn’t work, will the rescue take the pet back? Will they give you ALL your money back or just a fraction? Is there a set time table that they’ll take the pet back?

Is the pet in foster care now? Is it IN STATE? Can you visit the pet prior to adoption? These are VERY important questions!! Adopting a pet you have not met is like buying a car you’ve never driven, but worse! Your pet lives in your house with your family.

Write down any other questions you may have. Make sure you can have a relaxed, take your time conversation with the rescue agency you’re working with. Make sure you like the person’s way of doing business. Be comfortable with the rescue!!!

Remember – this is a commitment on your part. The rescue you work with needs to make you feel comfortable in your decision to adopt a pet. The better relationship you have with the animal rescue, the better relationship you’ll have with your new pet.