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Adopt a Less Adoptable Pet Week – September 20-26, 2020

Why You Should Consider Special Needs Animals for Adoption

 

Shelters and rescues are packed with homeless pets. At AZPetVet, we work with many rescue groups and organizations around the Valley, such as LovePup, to help as many animals in need of adoption as we possibly can. The ASPCA estimates that around 6.5 million companion animals enter U.S. animal shelters nationwide every year – approximately 3.3 million dogs and 3.2 million cats. Each year, approximately 1.5 million shelter animals are euthanized (670,000 dogs and 860,000 cats). Special needs animals are consistently overlooked for adoption simply because so many people prefer to adopt cute puppies and kittens.

If you search ‘animals up for adoption near me’, you’ll get a huge string of results from all sorts of shelter and rescue organizations vying for your attention. All of them have pets that have been waiting weeks, months, and sometimes years to find their fur-ever homes. Typically, ‘less adoptable’ refers to animals in some unique categories including special needs and even hair color. While the term ‘special needs’ might sound intimidating, it’s a category term for pets who may need a little extra care. Physical disability, behavior, chronic illness, or medical conditions can all put an animal into this category, reducing their chance of finding a home. That’s why PetFinder.com created ‘Adopt a Less Adoptable Pet Week’ – to help raise awareness of these wonderful animals who are too often overlooked. Here, we’ll highlight the most common types of special needs pets and the reasons you may want to consider them.

Older Dogs

Senior pets end up in shelters for a variety of reasons. Some may have health conditions that can be managed with diet and medications, others are perfectly healthy. Sometimes, the owner can no longer afford to care for them, becomes ill, moves, or just doesn’t want a pet anymore. Given the chance, older dogs can adapt to a new home and family, and become wonderful companion animals for families. Older dogs are especially great for individuals that enjoy a more relaxed lifestyle, as they require a lot less exercise, and are often just happy to curl up next to their beloved person. Many people prefer to skip the rambunctiousness, potty training, and additional training that comes with adopting a puppy or kitten. Older pets usually know basic commands and tend to be more mellow, so they’re ideal for senior citizens. And yes, old dogs can learn new tricks – it’s just a matter of working with them to develop new habits. Positive reinforcement is the best approach. The Arizona Humane Society even offers a Senior to Senior adoption program with discounted fees. Like people, older pets will require regular wellness checks to keep them healthy and happy for life, so this should also be considered when adopting a senior animal.

Pets With Medical Conditions

Many shelter dogs and cats have some form of short- or long-term medical condition, especially older animals. Younger animals with less developed immune systems, or that haven’t received the required vaccination series can contract diseases, like parvovirus, distemper, kennel cough, or Valley Fever. With the right family or individual, plus regular veterinary care, many health conditions can be managed through medications, lifestyle and dietary modifications, and some good old fashioned TLC. With the right treatment and care, most pets will enjoy a good quality of life for years to come with their new families.

Hearing loss or deafness is another reason people will overlook adoptable pets. Congenital deafness often occurs in predominantly white or merle-coated breeds like Dalmatians, Border Collies, Australian Shepherds, English Setters, white Boxers, and white Bull Terriers. While they may not be able to hear, most of these pets can learn simple sign language commands. Aside from the hearing loss, they’re still the same wonderful, loving creatures – they just need the chance to show it.

Behavior Problems

Just like people, no pet is perfect. Behavior problems are a common reason for people surrendering animals to a shelter or rescue. Pets with behavior problems have special needs, and require consistent, specialized training from a professional to get them back on track. Behavior issues can range from poor potty training, separation anxiety, or not getting along with other animals/children, to aggression. Many issues can be resolved with stability, consistent training, regular exercise and play, and of course, love.

Black Dogs & Cats

Research studies consistently show that black dogs and cats have a more difficult time getting adopted than others. Black dogs and cats are often left behind in shelters and rescues due to centuries of ingrained superstitions and old wives’ tales. The reality is that black dogs and cats are just as loveable as any other pet. While it may be harder to capture their cuteness and features in a photo without proper lighting, no matter what, black cats and dogs bring the same brand of goofy, unconditional love as other pets.

Remember, loving pets come in all shapes and sizes, colors, and breeds. Take some time to get to know one another when you’re looking for a new pet. You never know, it could be a loving match for life. Good luck in your search!

Need a good vet for your new pet? AZPetVet has 21 locations around the Valley. Click here to find a location near you.

Not intended to be a substitute for professional veterinarian advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your veterinarian with any questions you may have regarding the medical condition of your pet. If you think your pet has a medical emergency, call or visit your veterinarian or your local veterinary emergency hospital immediately.

 

 

 

Adopt a Homeless Animal on International Homeless Animals Day

Young woman with worker choosing which dog to adopt from a shelter.

The Benefits of Adopting vs. Buying a Pet

When you are ready to bring a loving, sweet, and loyal companion into your home, there are a lot of factors to consider. With International Homeless Animals Day on August 15, this provides the perfect opportunity for individuals to learn and understand the value of adopting your next pet and giving that animal a second chance at life in a new, forever home.

Benefits of Adopting a Homeless Animal

There are countless benefits to adopting your next pet. One of the biggest benefits is knowing that you are potentially saving a life. Although no-kill shelters are on the rise, there are still thousands of animals that are euthanized each year due to lack of resources, space, and funding. By choosing to adopt, you are providing this animal with a new and better life by bringing them into your loving home.

In addition, adopting a dog or cat is often less expensive. Although costs vary state-by-state and depending on the shelter, adopting will likely still cost significantly less than purchasing a pet from a store or breeder. Shelters often will also spay and neuter the animals, as well as even provide you with microchips. All of this saves you a lot of money when it comes to adding a furry friend to your household.

Where to Adopt a Pet

If you are ready to start the search for your next best friend, there are plenty of great shelters in the Valley for you to choose from. One organization to consider is Helping Hands for Homeless Hounds (HHfHH). This non-profit provides support and resources to homeless pet owners so they can properly care for their furry companions. If they become unable to care for their animals themselves, HHfHH can also take in any surrendered pets and help them find a great home. Another great Valley organization to consider adopting through is LovePup. This mission-driven group takes the homeless dogs into their own home, allowing them to socialize with their pups and family. This socialization helps to prepare the dogs for adoption, ensuring they are ready to be a loving friend and new family member in their forever home. Their effective and simple adoption process also helps to ensure the pup’s overall success in their new home.

At AZPeVet, we understand the power of the human-animal bond and have partnered with many rescues and adoption organizations throughout the valley. If your new pet was adopted through one of our approved rescue partners, be sure to reach out to the AZPetVet nearest you to schedule your *FREE Post Adoption Health Exam and Fecal Testing.

Making the decision to bring a furry friend into your home is a big choice to make. When you know that you are ready and can provide a comfortable, warm, and welcoming environment for your next companion, consider the option of adopting a homeless animal. This International Homeless Animals Day, as well as throughout the year, you can help homeless animals in need in more ways than one. If you are unable to adopt at this time but still want to find a way to give back, be sure to visit your local animal shelter’s website for volunteering opportunities and donations.

[Disclaimer] Not intended to be a substitute for professional veterinarian advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your veterinarian with any questions you may have regarding the medical condition of your pet. If you think your pet has a medical emergency, call or visit your veterinarian or your local veterinary emergency hospital immediately.

Social Petworking Month: Networking for Animals

How to Use Social Media to Find a Good Home for a Dog or Cat

As social media has become such a prevalent part of our lives, it’s allowed us to stay connected to friends, family, and acquaintances. It has also evolved into a useful tool to serve more purposes. June is Social Petworking Month — the perfect opportunity for individuals to use their social channels to help others — specifically, homeless dogs and cats looking for a good, loving forever home.

During Social Petworking Month, individuals are encouraged to use their social media to promote photos and information on furry friends in shelters that are seeking adoption. Doing this helps to bring awareness to all the different dogs and cats that are ready for a family and hoping that they’ll find their perfect match. 

How Can You Participate?

Participating in Social Petworking Month is easy and quick to do. All you have to do is look through your local shelter’s website to find dogs and cats that are looking for a new home. Take their photo and a short description of the pet to share on your social media, whether that’s Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, or Snapchat. The more you share, the more you boost the chances of someone seeing your post and being interested in adopting them!

On top of this, you can share interesting facts about the furry friend to really personalize their social post and increase interest in their adoption. People love to hear about what makes them unique or fun quirks they have, which can include anything from having a special talent or trick to loving tummy scratches. 

You can also use your social media to become an advocate for adopting in general, including sharing the benefits of adopting pets from shelters and rescues to encourage others to do the same.

Pet Sharing Apps

Another aspect of networking for dogs and cats that can be beneficial to look into during this time is pet sharing apps. These apps and sites connect communities of pet lovers who can provide a safe and loving temporary home for the dog or cat when the owner needs help with care. 

These virtual communities can often offer a cost-effective solution to normal pet daycares, walkers, and sitters. For those who take care of the dog or cat, it offers a perfect opportunity for them to experience being a pet parent without having to fully commit. This can be a great stepping-stone for those looking to adopt in the future so they can understand the time commitment, responsibility, and work that goes into taking care of a pet. 

During Social Petworking Month, take a look at how you can give back and promote dogs and cats looking for forever homes. By simply promoting animals up for adoption on social media, becoming an advocate for adopting, or getting involved with pet sharing apps, you can make a significant difference for pets in shelters in need of loving families. 

[DISLCLAIMER] Not intended to be a substitute for professional veterinarian advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your veterinarian with any questions you may have regarding the medical condition of your pet. If you think your pet has a medical emergency, call or visit your veterinarian or your local veterinary emergency hospital immediately. 

Why Animals are Good for Your Health

 

Is it good to have a pet? We may be biased, but our answer is a resounding YES! Without a doubt, having a pet is good for your health. Here are five great reasons why animals are good for you and your health.

  1. Pets provide love and companionship. Get a pet and you’ll never feel alone. Pets provide us with unconditional love, lots of affection, and are great for prompting laughter with their antics, so it’s hard to feel lonely with a furry friend by your side. Even better? Pets are always happy to see you, even when you’ve only been gone for a few minutes! (Many pet owners will tell you that dogs are much better at this response than most cats.) 
  2. Better mental health. According to an article in TIME magazine, research increasingly shows that owning a pet can improve your mental health. Many hospitals, nursing homes, and other care facilities often have a pet in residence to help soothe anxiety. Pet owners are also less likely to suffer from depression. 
  3. Reduced stress levels. Petting a loving animal can rapidly calm and soothe you when you’re feeling stressed or anxious. Since stress is a significant risk factor for serious health conditions, a pet can help lower your stress levels and in turn, reduce your risk for experiencing health problems. 
  4. Reduced risk for allergies and asthma. Numerous scientific studies have shown that having a furry friend in the home can make children less susceptible to developing allergies or asthma later in life. 
  5. Lower blood pressure. Did you know that simply petting a dog or cat can help lower your blood pressure? It’s true. Getting regular exercise can also help lower your blood pressure. Dog owners tend to get more exercise than non-dog owners, as dogs are a great reason to get outside and take a walk. 

Still not convinced? According to the CDC, some of the health benefits of having a pet include:

  • Decreased blood pressure
  • Decreased cholesterol levels
  • Decreased triglyceride levels
  • Decreased feelings of loneliness
  • Increased opportunities for exercise and outdoor activities
  • Increased opportunities for socialization

One final note: better health associated with owning a pet isn’t limited to just cats and dogs. Whether your pet is sporting fur, scales, fins, or hooves – it’s the simple act of caring for another living being that makes being a pet owner worthwhile. Don’t have a pet yet or thinking of getting one? Check out our blog on how to choose the right pet for you and your family.

Not intended to be a substitute for professional veterinarian advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your veterinarian with any questions you may have regarding the medical condition of your pet. If you think your pet has a medical emergency, call or visit your veterinarian or your local veterinary emergency hospital immediately.

Change a Pet’s Life Day January 24th

Five Ways to Change a Pet’s Life Without Adopting

Winning the lottery would be an incredible, life-changing event for anyone. Most of us have dreamed about what it would be like to win the lottery and what we would do with the money. For a homeless animal in a rescue or shelter, however, winning the lottery is really simple and heartwarming. For these vulnerable animals, finding and becoming a part of a fur-ever family is the most life-changing event imaginable.

Every year on January 24th, Change a Pet’s Life Day is celebrated to support and encourage pet adoption. There are many wonderful ways you can help Change a Pet’s Life all year round – even if you’re not ready to adopt. Many of these actions help prepare animals to become loving members of a new home. We hope you’ll consider adopting our suggestions (OK, and a pet or two won’t hurt either).

1. Foster a Pet – not ready to make the commitment to adoption? Consider a trial run by fostering, which helps shelters and rescues free up resources and space. Fostering also helps homeless animals increase their chances of finding a permanent home.

2. Sponsor a Shelter Dog or Cat – many shelters, rescues, and sanctuaries will allow you to sponsor a specific dog or cat, and that’s life-changing for them. You could also sponsor an adoption fee for another family to adopt a pet.

3. Make a Charitable Donation – most animal shelters and rescues are non-profits, so they rely on donations from animal lovers to help them to operate. Your charitable contributions help ensure food, medical care such as spaying/neutering, vaccinations, microchips, and prepare for a future life in a loving home.

4. Volunteer at a Shelter or Rescue – becoming a volunteer at a local organization is fun and fulfilling and so appreciated. Volunteers help prepare pets for adoption and free up staff for other tasks. Volunteers can walk or play with dogs and provide love and attention to help with socialization, so pups become more adoptable.

5. Become a Social Media Sharer – make sharing posts about dogs or cats in need on your Facebook a habit. Sharing the posts from animal organizations like pet rescues and shelters exposes adoptable dogs and cats to a wider audience – which means more chances for viewers to fall in love, share or even adopt. This one small act can Change a Pet’s Life forever!