October, besides being a crazy Halloween month in Salem, is National Pet Adoption Month. After you have made sure that your pets are secured indoors so they are not kidnapped by some nut for an animal sacrifice ritual, you might consider adopting another pet.
Maddie’s Fund, a national pet rescue foundation, says that all treatable and adoptable pets from shelters could be saved with just two more pets being adopted from each shelter every day.
Puppies and kittens are available at shelters, as well as some beautifully socialized and purebred cats and dogs. There are also many rabbits, birds, guinea pigs and ferrets up for adoption. People may be concerned that a shelter pet comes with behavioral or health issues. Usually, this is not the case. The fact is that many shelter pets were relinquished because of owner issues, not animal issues. Some owners ended up being allergic to the dog; others found that they didn’t have time; and sadly, many weren’t prepared for the costs of a pet. Sometimes an owner has passed away and their very devoted pet loses its home.
Our hospital adopted a pet in a situation where one of our clients died. We had seen her cat Muffie for years on house calls. Muffie was an attack cat when a stranger came into the house. She would puff up her body to three times its normal size and lunge at me with teeth bared and claws flying when I arrived to perform her physical exam, vaccines and lab work.
Needless to say, she needed to be sedated so we could do her examination. Her owner was a lovely older woman who used to be a nurse and kept fit doing lots of laps at the local YMCA. When she died, her son called me in to perform a physical exam before Muffie went upstairs to the neighbor who was adopting her. Muffie was in the pink of health. Her son and I spent some time remembering his mom and what an independent soul she was before I headed home.