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Adding to the Family

by • December 1, 2014 • 2014, December 2014, Home Life

Adopting and Rescuing Pet Pals in Orange County

Considering adding to your domestic bliss with a four-legged (or two-winged) friend? Before setting your heart on the first animal that gives you the “love me” look, consider the following to prepare your household for the family’s new addition.

Shelter or Rescue?

While shelters usually house animals in one, fixed location based on funding from the government, rescues begin on a volunteer basis and tend to house animals in a group of foster homes. Shelters and rescues welcome abandoned pets for a variety of reasons.

“Sometimes the children have left home and the parents do not want the animal any more; sometimes an older animal has developed medical issues which involve expense and inconvenience,” says Russell Taylor, co-founder of Modjeska Ranch Rescue. Taylor adds that rescue organizations take their time and care for each pet that comes through their doors. With the extra attention, the pet can then enter into its new home with love and appreciation for its family.

Animal Age

Puppy eyes come with puppy potty-training. Adopting a newborn to grow up alongside the kids brings laughs, memories and pictures you all can cherish years later. But the teething months can wreck havoc on Barbie’s limbs, Tigger’s tail and every manner of cord and cable. It takes extra time and effort to train a baby animal and raise it into the grown-up you and the family want. Protecting Unwanted Pets, or PUP, Laguna Beach recommends families adopt already-grown pets.

“With a grown pet, you have a better idea of its temperament; it’s more likely to be house trained and easier to train in general; and you know precisely how big or small the pet is,” says PUP Laguna Beach. Adopting an adult animal allows you to focus on potty training your own children first without throwing pet training into the crazy mix.

Cost of Ownership

Beyond the up-front purchase awaits the possible neutering fee, flea treatment, and an array of various vaccinations. Before even picking out the pet’s new leash the price begins to add up. Then comes the upkeep. PUP asks future pet-adopters to consider the life span of the animal as well as daily and medical care. Do not be afraid of the coming costs; simply be ready to properly care for the animal. Shelters such as O.C. Animal Care include all the necessary shots, microchips and treatments in the total purchase price, causing the out-the-door cost to vary pet to pet.

Fortifying the Home

Pets can turn the tidiest of households upside-down. Potty training, couch scratching, furniture nibbling and vase-breaking make up the whole package, no matter how cute your pet may be. “Can you divide your house so that the animal has an area to have fun and be part of the family but not challenge you with destruction?” asks Taylor.

Family Lifestyle

The amount of time you and the family stay home plays a crucial role in your new pet’s well being. To ensure the animal will not take out its energy on the new couch or clean carpet, it may need to be walked or played with several times throughout the day. For example, Modjeska Ranch Rescue currently holds a blue macaw in its adoption center. “They are beautiful and very intelligent, but they are very loud, they are social and need a lot of attention from you,” says Taylor. The noise, yard space, work-hours, vacation time and more all factor in to the adopting process. Shelters and rescues desire families to take on the full responsibility of owning the pet for the rest of its life. The blue macaw from Modjeska Ranch, for example, lives for about 80 years. When the kids move out, will you still be able to nurture and house your pet? If your answer is yes, pick one of the shelters or rescue organizations below and go save a life. M

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