Shelter animals make wonderful pets

Iowa’s first family set a great example recently by adopting a puppy from a shelter instead of buying one from a puppy mill. I know cynics will say Chet and Mari Culver were just looking for some good press (never mind the budget crunch–look at the cute puppy!), but I don’t care. They saved a shelter dog and gave him a good home. Their cat also came from the Animal Rescue League many years ago.

We adopted an adult dog from the Animal Rescue League in the summer of 2004, and I couldn’t be happier with the choice. We knew right away he had a good temperament around small kids (always a question mark when you get a puppy). Also, he was house-trained and didn’t chew up everything he found lying on the floor.

Here is a list of pet shelters in Iowa. Please consider a shelter animal if you want to expand your family.

To his credit, President Barack Obama made clear in November that his family would prefer to adopt a shelter dog. However, they have concerns about aggravating his daughter’s allergies. If that is an issue for your family, read this piece by Michael Markarian on adopting a dog in a household with pet allergies.

On a related note, you probably heard that Socks the cat, who resided in the Clinton White House, died recently at a ripe old age. I’m not a cat person, but I appreciated these memorial posts at Benny’s World and La Vida Locavore.

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