Adopting A Friend
Should You Adopt a Puppy an Adult or Senior Dog?
The following is an excerpt from Petfinder.com's Adopted Dog Bible When adopting a dog, one choice you'll need to make is whether to adopt a puppy, an adolescent, or an adult. It's not always an easy decision, so let's take a look at the advantages and disadvantages of adopting dogs of different ages.
Puppies are enchanting little beings. They're funny and cute and full of promise. But puppies, like all babies, need a lot of care and attention if they are to fulfill that promise.
Puppies Are a Lot of Work Your puppy will need to be trained so that she knows what you want her to do and not do. She will need lots of safe exercise and play so that her body develops properly, and she will need you to socialize her with other people and animals so that she feels comfortable in the world. As she learns and grows, she'll get into things, chew, make messes, and have accidents in the house. All in all, a puppy is a tremendous amount of work — much more than many unsuspecting adopters realize.
A Puppy's Health — and Size — May Be Unpredictable Puppies who are available for adoption through shelters and rescue organizations sometimes offer additional challenges because they come from less-than-ideal situations. Chances are good that their parents were not screened for inherited health or temperament problems, or that optimum pre-natal or post-natal care was provided for mama dog and her pups. Shelter and rescue puppies may have been taken from their mothers at too young an age for optimal emotional development. Veterinary attention may have been lacking prior to the pup's coming into the shelter or rescue group. Responsible shelters and rescue groups provide medical care, treatment for parasites, and vaccinations against infectious disease when appropriate; however, sometimes adopted puppies don't show signs of illness until they move to their new home
Does this mean you shouldn't adopt a puppy from a shelter or rescue group? Not at all -- many wonderful dogs grow from puppies who didn't have the best start in life. But you do need to be aware that even a young puppy has a history, and you may need to give her some extra care to make up for it.
Realize, too, that you can't always predict how the puppy you adopt will mature, especially if she's a mixed-breed. If you adopt a puppy, make sure you're ready to accept her as an adult, even if she's thirty pounds bigger and six inches shaggier than you expected.
Adult and Senior Dogs Are Already Emotionally Mature Puppies turn into adolescents at lightning speed. That babyish furball you bring home will turn all legs, ears, nose, and energy in another four months. Adolescence in dogs begins at six months and lasts until anywhere from eighteen months up to thirty-six months, depending on the breed. Small dogs tend to mature physically more quickly than big dogs do, but all dogs are quite immature mentally and emotionally until they are at least two or three years old. They continue to need training, lots of exercise, and ongoing socialization throughout this developmental period.
Adult and Senior Dogs Are Great for First-Time Dog Parents If this is your first dog, or if you cannot devote the time necessary to train, socialize, and exercise a young or adolescent puppy properly, an adult dog could be a better option for you. If you're not sure, talk to people who are currently raising puppies or have done so recently to get a realistic picture of what it's like. If dealing with puppy pee on the carpet and needle-sharp teeth in your toes for months on end sounds like too much chaos for your taste, adopt an adult.
You Know What You're Getting with an Adult or Senior Dog When you choose an adult dog, you have a pretty good idea what you're getting. You can see her physical traits and get some idea of her basic temperament, even though dogs in shelters and dogs newly in rescue foster homes may not always show their true personality right away. Still, with the guidelines we offer you later in this book, you can select a behaviorally sound dog who will improve and blossom once settled into your loving home.
Adult and Senior Dogs Will Love You as Much as a Puppy If you are concerned that an older dog won't bond to you, don't be. Dogs are remarkably resilient and open-hearted. Some completely overcome their pasts in a matter of days; others may take a few weeks or months, and a few will carry a little baggage for even longer than that. Working with your adopted dog to help her overcome any hurdles necessary to enjoy her new life can be an incredibly rewarding experience -- and result in a long-term, loving relationship.
A Cat is Waiting (Adopting The Right Cat For You)
Jacque Lynn Schultz, C.P.D.T., Companion Animal Programs Adviser. National Outreach
The kids have been clamoring for a cat. You've held them off for as long as humanly possible, but now you must decide whether or not to make the twenty year commitment to a new feline friend. To dog people, taking on a cat seems like no big deal – no house training, numerous daily walks or obedience classes. But if you are a novice at animal care-taking, hair on the furniture, paw prints on countertops and kitty games at 3 A.M. -- not to mention litter box training and daily maintenance -- can take some getting used to. Time must be found in hectic schedules for grooming, feeding and interactive play. If you are considering adopting a kitten, factor in plenty of time for socialization and supervision to ensure that the end result will be a well-adjusted adult cat.
Cats had only one function throughout the centuries: vermin control. Only in the last one hundred years has selective breeding caught on -- synonymous with the rise of the cat as a companion. Most purebred cats fall into one of the following three groupings based on physical characteristics:
•The natural breeds -- American and British shorthairs, Persians, Maine coon cats were developed in cold climates. They have long, thick coats; heavy, cobby (square) bodies, and are the most sedate group in terms of energy level.
•The semi-foreigns -- Russian blues, Abyssinians, ocicats are an in-between group whose body shapes are leaner and more muscular than the natural breeds. They have slightly oval eyes and their heads are moderately wedge-shaped. Their activity level is usually moderate with some high-energy exceptions like the Abyssinian.
•The Orientals -- Siamese, Burmese, Cornish rexes originated in warmer climes; they carry little body fat and lighter coats. Almost everything about them is elongated -- legs, tails, ears and bodies -- to allow more surface area for efficient cooling. These cats are the most active and talkative. Still, less than 10 percent of the world's cats, both in and out of shelters, are purebred. The majority -- common house cats – have charmed their way into becoming the number-one most popular pet in the United States.
When you have made the decision to commit to a cat, hop on the internet and visit www.petfinder.com or head to your local animal shelter, where an array of felines resplendent in tabby stripes, calico patches, solids and tortoiseshell patterns awaits. The feline diversity residing in local shelters and rescue groups ensures you will find a kindred spirit. Many shelters vaccinate, de-worm and test for feline leukemia before putting up cats for adoption. Some shelters spay/neuter before adoption as well. Ask yours for specifics on what is included in the adoption package.
Searching for Mr. Right
Before facing cage after cage of homeless cats, consider your needs and expectations. If yours is a full-time working household, I recommend passing up kittens and adolescents (less than eighteen months old) in favor of a more low-key adult whose energy needs will be easier to meet. If you are a novice cat owner, stay away from "excessive" cats -- excessively shy, aggressive or demanding -- for they may provide too great a challenge for your first experience. Your best bet is the friendly, outgoing cat, who nudges an outstretched finger offered through the cage bars and who nuzzles and purrs when you hold him in your arms. This profile is a particularly good choice for families with children younger than seven years of age.
Is coat color or pattern important? By all means, choose a cat who attracts you, but remember that the gorgeous calico hiding at the back of her cage may well go into prolonged hiding once she is released into your home. A cat who is social and relaxed at a shelter usually has the aplomb to meet the stresses that life throws her way. Consider the whole cat, not just one element.
A cat in your life can add warmth, humor and peace of mind. A cat can teach your child empathy for others while keeping her secrets. If you can make the commitment, a cat is waiting to enhance your life in ways only a kindred spirit can.
Who We Are
Opp Paws and Claws is dedicated to saving all companion animals whose lives are in jeopardy. Through rehabilitation of sick and un-socialized pets, and a 100% spay/neuter program, Opp Paws and Claws hopes to end pet overpopulation and place all dogs and cats in loving homes.Opp Paws And Claws (OPC) is a nonprofit organization dedicated to the welfare of all dogs and cats, OPC takes any animal when space is available, regardless of age, temperament, and/or medical condition, and welcomes the re-homing of these dogs. All animals are spayed/neutered before placement,unless they are under 6 months of age, in this situation the adoptee will have to sign a written consent to have the animal spayed or neutered when they come of age. All animals are also vaccinated, and all known medical conditions are addressed and treated as appropriate. All animals are kept in our shelter where they are assessed for personality, and then they are carefully matched to a home that will provide only the very best.
OPC makes every effort possible in assuring the best possible future for the adopting family and, most importantly, for the animal being placed. A lengthy screening and education process is done before an application is approved. An adoption contract is completed, and post-placement follow-up is done. An adoption fee is charged to cover the tremendous veterinary expenses incurred by OPC.
All members of OPC are volunteers who are animal owners themselves and are deeply dedicated to the welfare and safety of every homeless or unwanted animal that we take in. Every member of our team undergoes the same screening process that is applied to all potential adopters. OPC volunteers have participated in screening potential adopters and have educated each other in the best ways to care for and train animals at our shelter. OPC volunteers have worked dog fairs and fund raisers to generate donations to help with expenses. Most importantly, though, is that each member has opened his/her home and heart to assist OPC in caring for rescued animals while they are in our care
All medical-care decisions are made by one or more of OPC board members, all of whom have worked with various other rescue organizations prior to the establishment of OPC. We have an excellent veterinarian from which we receive counseling and guidance. In addition, we work closely with other rescue organizations. Prior to our inception, we have individually rescued and re-homed thousands of animals. Our collaborative rescue efforts in 2010 will likely double the number of dogs rescued during 2009. We are a growing organization with dedicated, responsible, and goal-focused members who appreciate the tremendous generosity of our contributors in offering financial assistance to support our labor of love
Come Visit Us!
Opp Paws and Claws
Opp, AL 36467
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Contact Opp Paws and Claws Inc.