As many of you know, pets are great companion animals. They’re also often special gifts given to children and seniors. However, there is a good time to gift them and a bad time. In my opinion, Christmas is the worst time to gift a pet. However, the spring and the fall are the best times.
Spring is when young animals are born: puppies and kittens and farm animals, too. For those who want a puppy or kitten, whether it is purebred, or from a shelter—which I prefer—the young animal or older shelter one can be more easily “potty” tra
ined in the transitional seasons. In the spring and fall, the outdoors is more conducive to pleasant weather for a dog’s training. So care and attention, using proper commands, sounds and toys are always beneficial at the training stages.
But these are really small issues. The fact is that 7.5 million future pets enter animal shelters each year. Others are raised in puppy mills under horrendous conditions. Once rescued, a shelter becomes a sort of rehab: the animal can be deinfested and also spayed or neutered. These medical procedures should be done when the animal is old enough by properly trained people. That is why the ASPCA (American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals) in 2015 acquired the Humane Alliance. It is the nation’s leader in “high-quality, high volume spay/neuter training.” These are the places where veterinarians and fourth-year vet students learn the skills needed to perform these delicate surgeries. Since 2006, over 151 clinics in the United States and Canada have been opened by the Human Alliance, which has facilitated more than 4.8 million surgeries.
If veterinary bills are the problems, there is pet medical insurance available. Two good ones are Embrace Medical Insurance and Trupanion. Also, if the cost of pet food becomes an issue, ask your vet or local clinic or shelter for help.
Many new programs and clinics are available today as an Internet search will prove. Pet owners can do the right thing for the cats and dogs that become friends and family. The ASPCA and the Human Alliance are, I believe, the two best national leaders in the preservation of animal welfare. They take at-risk, unloved animals and give them the health and affection they deserve so they can find a loving home. So remember, before bringing a pet into any home, find a veterinarian or vet service that provides the health services the pet will require. By doing this, you are offering a bright, loving future for yourself, your family and your pet.