So, you’ve been looking for a new pet. A kitten perhaps? Maybe a senior dog? How about a bonded pair of adult cats?
You look at the local animal rescue sites online, scour the newspaper, talk to friends or visit a humane society to see what catches your fancy. Technology has made finding a new pet very convenient.
You can search by your location, type of animal, specific breeds, age and gender. One day, you find the perfect dog candidate at your local shelter and either make an appointment (depending on their current rules with COVID-19) or just pop in to look. Everyone in your family falls in love with the adorable 3-year-old Labrador and agrees that she is the one.
She seems shy, but her tail wags when you approach her, so you begin filling out all the paperwork required prior to adoption. You listen eagerly as the animal shelter staff explain her history, but all that is really known is that she was brought in as a stray about two weeks prior. You read that she doesn’t walk very well on a leash yet and has some accidents in her kennel, but you are ready to train her, give her exercise and proper pet care.
All the paperwork has now been completed and your family and the new dog (the kids named her Dolly) hop into your car and you head to the pet store to pick up all the things you think you need. Your kids cannot wait to go shopping and buy her a new pet bed, fancy bowls, costumes and toys of every size, shape and decibel of squeaker imaginable.
Fast forward to your first night at home with your new dog, Dolly. She cowers in the corner. She won’t sleep in the new bed you just bought her, she won’t take treats, had an accident on the floor and whines and barks all night. What went wrong? Everything seemed so promising at the shelter.
One of the most important things to remember when bringing home a new pet (rescue or otherwise) is to have patience. This is so important. Facebook memes or other adorable, yet poignant sayings online are plentiful in regards to getting a new pet and the time it can take to make everyone comfortable.
Here’s one we particularly like from the perspective of the pet.
“Now I have arrived at your home. Everything is strange and I may not feel good. Do not feel impatient if I don’t sleep in my new bed, until recently I slept on a stone floor or outside. Do not be terrified if I gobble up my food, yesterday I had to do it to survive. Do not get angry if I pee on the floor, yesterday it did not matter. Do not be sad if I am afraid of your loving hand, yesterday I did not have one to call my own. Have patience with me. This home is your world, but not yet mine. If I trust you, I can give you the greatest gift I have to give … my heart. Please never forget, I am a rescue pet. All I need is a bit of time to adjust to my new home and family.”
It can take a new pet several weeks or even months to become acquainted with their new surroundings. As a new owner, you never know what your pet went through before arriving at your home. It could have had multiple homes and multiple routines. Take is slow, don’t have grandiose expectations and please give the animal and your family time to adjust and get to know each other.
MHS Pets of the Week:
Nicole is a very pretty 3-month-old spayed female domestic shorthair. She came in as a semi-feral unsocialized kitten but has come a long way in learning to trust people. She will need a patient adopter as she transitions into a new home.
Charlie is a 1.5-year-old neutered male Pitbull mix. He is a sweet and goofy guy who should be a great fit for almost any active home. He seems to like most everyone he meets. Charlie loves to play and learn new things in exchange for treats. We think he will do best in a home with kids age 8 and older. Currently, we recommend he be the only pet. He is not suitable for apartment living and must be adopted outside of Council Bluffs city limits.
Shiraz is a 12-year-old spayed female domestic shorthair.
Nightmare is a 5-year-old neutered male domestic medium hair. Don’t let his name fool you. He was surrendered with that name, and it is customary that we leave them their name at the shelter. He is FIV positive, so may need some extra loving care as he ages. He can safely live with other cats, but please know that while spreading this disease to other cats is rare, if a severe cat fight occurs, it is possible to infect another feline. Normal cat behavior and simply living together is considered safe.
Thank you again for helping us reach our Bark Friday goal of raising $33,500 at the end of 2020. Paired with another $33,500 from an anonymous donor, we made $67,000 to help all the animals in need at Midlands Humane Society.
From the bottom of our hearts, please know how much this is appreciated.
Call today to make an appointment to meet any of these great pets or their friends.