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General: Cats: Dogs:

 

 

 


 

 


How Long Is A Lifetime?


  1. Most dogs and cats, with good care, can live to be ten- to 15-years old or older. Before you adopt a puppy or kitten, ask yourself these questions:

    1.   To get an idea how long a pet’s lifetime may be, consider how old you will be 15 years from now. 
    2.   How many times do you think you might move in the next 15 years? Are you willing to move the pet too, and restrict your choice of housing to places where pets are allowed? 
    3.   What major changes might happen in your life in the next 15 years? Marriage? Children? Are you willing to continue spending the time, energy, and money to care for your pet when taking on new responsibilities like these? What will you do if your spouse or children can’t get along with the pet? 
    4.   If you’re getting a pet for children you have now, how old will they be in 15 years? Will you still want this pet after the kids have grown up and moved out? 
    5.   Have you previously owned a pet who didn’t live with you for ten years or more? If so, what happened to him/her? 
          What will you do differently with this pet to prevent him/her from going the way your previous pet did? 

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Going the Distance


Responsible Pet Ownership
"We’re moving" is one of the most common excuses given when owners leave their pets at the shelter. You can imagine how hard it is on an animal to be left behind. A pet may live ten- to 15- years, and most people don’t live in one place that long. Moving with pets can be a problem, but the time to consider these problems is before you adopt a pet.

Renting and Pets
If you are a renter, it can be very difficult to find a landlord who will allow pets. If you own a pet, you’ll have to restrict your choice of apartments to those where pets are allowed, and an extra damage deposit may be required. A pet who is neutered, tagged, and well behaved may help get a negative landlord in a positive mood. However, you must be careful that your dog isn’t annoying the neighbors with constant barking or your cat shredding the drapes.

Expenses
Moving with a pet can be expensive. If you don’t have a place to live lined up in the new city, you’ll have to board your pet at a kennel in the new area while you look around. If you fly to your destination, air freight charges, the cost of a sturdy pet carrier, and the expense of a visit to the veterinarian for a health certificate all add up.

The Hard Truth
If you can’t deal with the difficulties or expense of moving with a pet, don’t adopt one in the first place. Save yourself the guilt and heartbreak of leaving part of the family behind, and save a dog or cat the sadness of being rejected. 

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You May Be The Perfect Cat Owner If You...


  1. 1.     Believe caring for a pet for 15 years does not seem like a lifetime 
    2.     Look forward to having your ankles rubbed dry by an affectionate, hairy animal 
    3.     Don’t mind sharing your house with someone who sheds, tracks kitty litter, and throws up hairballs 
    4.     Don’t mind sharing your house with someone who will never clean up after themselves 
    5.     Loves a housemate who will randomly and regularly entertain you with outrageous and silly antics (at their whim, not yours) 
    6.     Want to take care of someone every day 
    7.     Like your lap warmed whenever you sit down 
    8.     Would like to spend your extra money on pet food, toys, veterinary care, kitty litter; and more kitty litter 
    9.     Want to be welcomed with a soft purr of appreciation 
    10.   Believe that spaying and neutering pets will help solve the pet overpopulation problem 
    11.   Can’t imagine leaving your devoted pet behind when you move 
    12.   Want to keep an ID tag on your pets, so they can get back to you no matter what 
    13.   Enjoy unconditional love and constant companionship 
    14.   Believe that keeping your cat indoors is for your pet’s well being 

    If you think you’ve got what it takes, visit your local animal shelter to find the perfect cat or kitten!

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Choosing A Cat Companion


If you’re ready to care for a cat (or two) for the next 12 or so years, here are some things to consider before choosing your new feline friend.

Your Lifestyle.

  •   If you work

  •   If you have children

  •   If you have other animals

  •   The size of your living space


The Cat’s Age.

  •   Adult cats are better suited to the rough handling of inquisitive toddlers

  •   Kittens also need to be house-trained, but they adapt quickly to new surroundings

  •   Adult cats need less supervision for those who work

Health.

  •   Healthy cats have clear, bright eyes, pink gums, a clean nose and ears, and a smooth, shiny coat

  •   Small black specks on the fur indicate fleas

  •   Check the litter box to make sure the fecal matter is formed, not runny

 

Personality.

  •   Look for a feline who’s easy-going and responds to you

  •   Kittens should be active, outgoing, and willing to be handled

  •   A feline who shies away from you might be more suited to a quiet household

  •   Adult cats should be fairly relaxed when handled

Length Of Fur.

  •   Decide if you want long, medium, or short-haired cats

  •   A long coat will require some combing on your part to fight matting

Regardless of the age or the sex (both male and female cats are equally affectionate) of the cat you choose, keep your cat indoors, and you’ll likely have a loving companion for the next 12 to 18 years.

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Kitten-proofing Your House


Curious kittens are capable of leaping onto high surfaces or squeezing into the smallest of spaces. To protect your kitten in her new environment, and to safeguard your belongings, kitten-proof your house.

Kitchens/Bathrooms

  •   Use childproof latches to keep little paws from prying open cabinets

  •   Place medications, cleaners, chemicals, and laundry supplies on high shelves

  •   Keep trash cans covered or inside a latched cabinet

  •   Kittens can climb into small spaces. Check for and block any small spaces, nooks, or holes inside cabinetry or behind washer/dryer units

  •   Make sure they haven’t jumped into the dryer before you turn it on

  •   Keep foods out of reach (even if the food isn’t harmful, the wrapper could be)

  •   Keep the toilet lid closed to prevent drowning or drinking harmful cleaning chemicals


Living/Family Room

  •   Place dangling wires from lamps, VCRs, televisions, stereos, and phones out of reach

  •   Put away children’s toys and games

  •   Put away knick-knacks until your kitten has the coordination not to knock them over

  •   Check all those places where your vacuum cleaner doesn’t fit, but your kitten does, for dangerous items, like string.  Move common house plants—which can be poisonous—out of reach, including hanging plants that can be jumped onto from other nearby surfaces

  •   Make sure all heating/air vents have a cover

  •   Put away all sewing and craft notions, especially thread


Garage

  •   Move all chemicals to high shelves or behind secure doors

  •   Clean up all antifreeze from the floor and driveway, as one taste can be lethal to all animals

  •   Bang on your car hood to ensure that your kitten (or any neighbor cats) has not hidden in the engine for warmth

  •   Keep all sharp objects and tools out of reach


Bedrooms

  •   Keep laundry and shoes behind closed doors (drawstrings and buttons can cause major problems if swallowed)

  •   Keep any medications, lotions, or cosmetics off accessible surfaces (like the bedside table)

  •   Move electrical and phone wires out of reach of chewing

  •   Be careful that you don’t close your kitten in closets or dresser drawers


And look out for paws, noses, and tails when you shut doors behind you or scoot chairs.

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You May Be The Perfect Dog Owner If You...


1.     Believe caring for a pet for 15 years does not seem like a lifetime 
2.     Look forward to big, wet kisses when you come home each day 
3.     Like sharing your house with someone who sheds, tracks dirt occasionally, and possibly drools 
4.     Don’t mind sharing your house with someone who will never clean up after themselves 
5.     Want to take care of someone every day 
6.     Love a playmate who likes to chase balls and drag off shoes 
7.     Don’t mind a playmate who likes to slobber on balls and shoes 
8.     Would like to spend your extra money on pet food, toys, veterinary care, chew bones, and more chew bones 
9.     Want someone to adore you even on a bad hair day 
10.   Believe that spaying and neutering pets will help solve the pet overpopulation problem 
11.   Can’t imagine leaving your devoted pet behind when you move 
12.   Want to keep an ID tag on your pets, so they can get back to you no matter what 
13.   Enjoy unconditional love and constant companionship 

If you think you’ve got all this, visit your local animal shelter to find the perfect dog or puppy!

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Going On Two

 

Many of the dogs in shelters are between six-months and two-years old.

Why are they so old?

  •   Their owners thought they were cute when they were young, but didn’t want a grown dog

  •   They grew up and spent most of their time in the backyard


Why would I want an older dog?

  •   They are smart, and they love people

  •   They are young enough to learn quickly, and old enough to pay attention to their lessons

  •   They only need three things: Attention, affection, and training

If you provide all dogs with affection, attention and training, they will soon become super dogs, the kind your friends wish they could own.

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Picking The Perfect Puppy


Local animal care and control agencies are the best place to locate a puppy. Chances are, your local shelter has the exact breed of dog you are looking for.

Puppy Mills

  •   Organizations which mass breed puppies for profit

  •   Living conditions for these animals are often inhumane

  •   Many pet stores purchase their puppies from these places


Reputable Breeders

  •   Ask your local shelter for recommendation of a good breeder

  •   Your veterinarian is also an excellent source of information

  •   Personally visit the kennel—you can also evaluate living conditions and character of the breeder

  •   Ask to see the puppy’s parents—healthy parents have healthy puppies, devoid of the physical and 
      psychological genetic defects caused by inbreeding or ignorance of good breeding practices

  •   Legitimate facilities encourage prospective owners to visit

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Puppy-proofing Your House



If anything is in reach, your puppy will sniff, chew, and probably play with it. So to protect your puppy in his/her new environment, and to safeguard your belongings, puppy-proof your house.

Kitchens/Bathrooms.

  •   Use childproof latches to keep curious muzzles from prying open cabinets

  •   Keep medications, cleaners, chemicals, and laundry supplies on high shelves

  •   Keep foods out of reach (even if the food isn’t harmful, the wrapper could be. And some foods, like chocolate, can be fatal to dogs)

  •   Keep trash cans covered or inside a latched cabinet

  •   Keep toilet lids closed to prevent drowning or drinking harmful cleaning chemicals


Living/Family Room.

  •   Place dangling wires from lamps, VCRs, stereos, TVs, and phones up and out of chewing reach

  •   Keep kids’ toys put away

  •   Move plants out of reach (some houseplants are poisonous to animals)

  •   Check all those places where your vacuum cleaner doesn’t fit, but your puppy does, for dangerous items, like coins and pens

  •   Put away all sewing and craft notions, especially needles and thread

  •   Make sure all heating/air vents have a cover


Garage.

  •   Move all chemicals to high shelves or behind secure doors

  •   Clean up all antifreeze from the floor and driveway—one lick of most antifreezes can be lethal to any animal

  •   Keep all sharp objects and tools out of reach


Bedrooms.

  •   Keep laundry and shoes behind closed doors (drawstrings and buttons can cause major illness if swallowed)

  •   Keep any medications, lotions, or cosmetics off accessible surfaces (like the bedside table which can be reached by jumping on the bed)

  •   Move wires out of reach of chewing


And look out for paws, noses, and tails when you shut doors behind you or scoot chairs.

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Contact Information

Telephone
256-653-1674
Postal address
59 Granada Road; Arab, AL 35016
Electronic mail
General Information: Email us
Send mail to hongkong59@charter.net with questions or comments about this web site.
Copyright © 2002-2009 Happy Paws Haven, Inc.
Last modified: August 21, 2012