Responsibility is a lifetime commitment
Check out a few easy steps to help keep your animal safe
Almost every day, a new animal enters through our doors. Often times, we suspect that this animal is an owned animal that may be lost. Sadly, many of these animals are never claimed and must wait for a new home at our shelter.
How do we know these strays are owned? Many of the dogs are house trained, know basic commands and understand how to walk properly on a leash. Some cats are so friendly that we just know they have recently lost their favorite lap to sit on. There are even times where we receive a stray cat that is declawed.
As we work to find new homes for the animals that find themselves at our shelter, we are reminded of the importance of educating the community on responsible pet ownership. Owning a pet is a lifetime commitment and there are many ways to keep your pet safe – so they do not find themselves at our shelter.
There are many easy paths to take to being a responsible pet owner:
- Choose a pet that fits your lifestyle. Don't get a high energy dog if you don't have the time to exercise him. If you can't afford grooming or can't do the grooming yourself, pick a low maintenance dog.
- Once you have picked the pet that fits your needs, spay or neuter. If you choose a pet from a shelter, they will be spayed or neutered before they are sent home.
- Dogs and cats thrive off of companionship and are not meant to be kept outside. Do not keep your dog on a chain in the backyard or allow your cat to roam the neighborhood. Animals that are kept outside or allowed to roam have a reduced lifespan and are generally less social with other animals and people.
- Routine veterinary care is a must, especially for dogs. Make sure they are up-to-date on their annual check-ups and vaccinations. Keep in mind that a rabies vaccination is required by law.
- Make sure that your animal has proper identification. ID tags on their collar with your contact information, as well as a microchip will help bring your pet home if they become lost. Animal Protectors offers microchipping right at the shelter at a low cost.
- License your dog - it's the law! For more information or to download the Dog License Application form, click here. If you adopt a dog from our shelter, the dog license will be included in your adoption fee.
- Obedience train and socialize your animal. Not only does this help your pet have excellent manners, but it builds a bond between the pet and owner.
- Pay attention to body language, especially if you have children. Here is a great video that helps explain what happens when we are paying close attention to what our pets are telling us.
- Walk your dog. Dogs need regular exercise to keep from chewing, begging and other undesirable bad manners. Walking is good for you, too!
- Establish an emergency contact to take care of your pets in the event of an emergency. Make sure that your emergency contact spends time with your animal to avoid any problems.
- Remember your pet in your will. Many assume a family member will step up to care for their pets when they pass away. Never assume, make a plan for your pets in advance.
Even though we often do everything in our power to keep our animals safe, stuff happens! At Animal Protectors, we understand and do our very best to reunite owners with their lost dogs. So, what does RTO mean? It means Returned To Owner. In 2011, 83 lost animals were happily reunited with their owners thanks to our efforts, policies and intake procedures. The note below came from one such owner whose dog recently ran away. We love to see happy reunions and want to remind everyone that we offer low cost microchipping of animals. For only $30 you can be assured that your animal will find its way home.