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The Adoption Process: Questions to Ask Yourself


The Adoption Process: Questions to Ask Yourself

Are you ready to add a pet to your family?

It can happen to the best of us. You see a cute, tiger-striped kitten with white paws and green eyes, just begging for attention. Or maybe it's a gorgeous Labrador mix whose tails seems to be wagging just for you. You take one look, and the next thing you know, you're walking down the pet food aisle at the supermarket.

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.
But adopting a pet is a big decision. Dogs and cats require lots of time, money, and commitment—more than 15 years' worth in many cases. Pet ownership can be rewarding, but only if you think through your decision before you adopt a companion.

Ten things to consider

The fact that you're thinking of adopting from an animal shelter means you're on the right track; homeless pets in your community are counting on people like you to give them a chance. Here are some things to think about before you make a commitment:

  1. Why do you want a pet? It's surprising how many people don’t ask themselves this simple question before they get a pet. Adopting an animal because of a chance enounter at the shelter or because the kids have been pining for a puppy (without buy-in from mom and dad) often ends up being a big mistake. Don't forget that pets may be with you 10, 15, even 20 years.
  2. 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 in the shelter are there because their owners didn't realize how much time it took to care for them.
  3. Can you afford a pet? The costs of pet ownership can be quite high. Licenses, training classes, spaying and neutering, veterinary care, grooming, toys, food, kitty litter, and other expenses add up quickly.
  4. Are you prepared to deal with the challenges that a pet can present? Flea infestations, scratched furniture, accidents from animals who aren't yet housetrained, and unexpected medical emergencies are unfortunate but common aspects of pet ownership.
  5. Can you have a pet where you live? Many landlords don't allow pets, and most rental communities have restrictions. In addition, certain types of dogs (e.g. pit bulls, rottweilers, Doberman pinschers and other imposing breeds) are often excluded from homeowner insurance policies, or the owners aren’t allowed to renew or continue their coverage. Make sure you know if and how you are limited by housing-related policies before you bring a companion animal home.
  6. 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, for example, waiting until you settle down is wise. If you have kids under five years old and you’re thinking about adopting a small mammal like a hamster or gerbil, you might consider postponing this decision since many small mammals present a risk of Salmonella.
  7. Are your living arrangements suitable for the animal you have in mind? Animal size is not the only variable to think about here. For example, some small dogs such as terriers are very active—they require a great deal of exercise to be calm, and they often bark at any noise. On the other hand, some big dogs are laid back and quite content to lie on a couch all day. Before adopting a pet, do your research—surf the Internet, talk to pet-owning friends and neighbors, and use shelter staff as a resource. That way, you'll be more likely to choose an animal who fits your lifestyle and living arrangements.
  8. 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 owner. Of course, giving your pet love, companionship, exercise, a healthy diet, and regular veterinary care are also essential.
  9. Do you know who will care for your pet while you're away on vacation? You'll need either reliable friends and neighbors or money to pay for a boarding kennel or pet-sitting service.
  10. Are you prepared to keep and care for your pet for the long haul? When you adopt, you are making a long-term commitment to care for an animal. That said, good people sometimes find themselves in unfortunate circumstances that prevent them from holding onto their pets. If this should happen, be prepared to take a proactive role in finding a new home for your animal companion.



Protecting Your Pets Paws This Winter

Most aren't aware and even I wasn't before joining Little Shelter, most ice melt is toxic to animals. I've seen my dogs and others on walks this winter suddenly stop or begin to hop on 3 legs to avoid stepping on salted roads.

There are some solutions available to pet owners who want to continue walking their dogs in the frosty winter. One such method is making your dog wear doggie boots. I've seen many hilarious attempts as dogs try to figure out how exactly to walk. To get your pet use to boots put them on for a few minutes each day, allowing your pet to become more comfortable with them.

Another solid solution is to apply a protective balm to your pets paws. Applying the balm allows your pet to avoid the dangers of walking on the toxic salt, just make sure your pet doesn't have issues with you touching their feet! There are a few brands sold in pet stores as well as even petroleum jelly is a solid alternative.

Make sure after every walk to wipe off your pets paws, removing all the harmful chemicals and salts that have accumulated during the walk. Not doing this could have some health concerns for your pet after time.

Of course, if your pet mostly walks around your backyard there are salt brands that are non-toxic and do not harm your pets feet. These brands are often found around the same price as toxic pet salts, so the cost isn't a big difference. Whenever we need to get ice melt to keep our animals, staff, and volunteers safe we only buy pet approved brands.




Best of LI for the 5th Straight Year!


Little Shelter's efforts in the community were once again recognized  by the Long Island Press this year when you, our supporters, went to the polls and voted for us!  We are very proud to announce that Little Shelter has won the titles 'Best Animal Shelter" and Best Animal Rescue" on Long Island for the 5th consecutive year!

Little Shelter's primary goal is to rescue and find homes for abandoned and homeless animals; we have been doing this for 87 years and counting!  Over the last 20 years Little Shelter has developed several innovative programs to benefit our community and beyond.  Little Shelter is a leader in the area of Humane Education for Children, as well as Animal Therapy  for Veterans suffering from post traumatic stress.  We run an Animal Soup Kitchen for members of our community who need assistance feeding and providing basic medical care for their pets.  These are only a few of the programs Little Shelter offers that distinguish us from other shelters. These programs, along with your support, are truly what make Little Shelter the Best of Long Island!  

Our fifth consecutive win indicates to Little Shelter Staff and Volunteers that you appreciate our efforts.   Readers of the Long Island Press recognize what an asset Little Shelter is to Long Island, and voters set out to let everyone know by voting us the WINNER!

 We would like to thank the readers of the Long Island Press and our wonderful supporters for voting us NUMBER ONE!



Otto the 40 lb. Puggle


Fresh off of our latest rescue, Otto the juggle came to us, tipping the scale at 40 lb. Otto came to us from a local shelter after being found as a stray.

After three steps you hear his breath shorten, he stops to take a break, his stomach dragging along the ground. Otto is in dire need to lose weight in as safe a manner as possible. Help us help him lose the weight and support and medical needs he may have after being so obese for so long. Donate now to help Otto and others like him.