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.

  • Adoption

    Stray make great pets.  Our dog and cat were both strays when they adopted us.  Strays remember the days they didn’t have a family of humans to watch out for.  They are very loyal to the adoptee family.

  • Have you told N**** he's adopted yet?

    Just wondering how you broke that to him.  He doesn’t act like he feels adopted, he acts like he feels pretty much right at home.  

    And I hope you know you are twisting the knife. We finally have a nice big house, with a decent yard, and I am not even allowed to bring this topic up at home.  Not a peep.

    I thought about going to the pet store and getting some of those mice they breed to feed snakes and showing one to my wife, explaining that we ought to maybe get a cat at least to take care of the mouse problem, but I chickened out.

    And I lost my last cat to my cousins in Colorado.  I adopted this nasty looking matted long hair cat about two weeks after my oldest kid moved out.  He was on death row because he scratched the hell out of some kid who poked him with a stick.  My friend worked at the shelter and begged me to adopt him.  I had to wear my leather coat for a week, because every time I would walk in the door he thought it was playtime and just pounce on me and hang there.  ANd it took forever to get him all groomed out, but once I did, man he was a cool looking cat. Had like these bobcat looking ears and huge fluffy paws.

    When I adopted him, I assumed he was an adult at about nine or ten pounds.  Turns out he is a Maine Coon, and now he is damned near thirty pounds and not obese.  I really liked that cat, and when I moved to Colorado Springs I dropped him at my cousin’s place in Woodland Park until I could get into my apartment and move out of the hotel.  

    In the course of that one week, they fell in love with him, put in a doggie door on their slider, built an enclosed open air run out back for him, and put together a “kitty condo” out of some lumber they had laying around the place.  

    Now tell me, how could I compete with that?

    But man he was cool, would even play “fetch” with his squeaky toy, I kid you not.

    • I am sure he remembers

      He was at least two years old when we adopted him.

      About once a year my friend who found him out in the country comes to the house. I am convinced that he recognizes her as the person who saved him. She would have adopted him herself, but she already had three dogs and at least one cat in a small house.

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