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Animal Friends: Rescue Animals Need Time to Warm Up to Prospective Owners

Animals  (tags: animals, pets, rescue animals, patience, adoption, AnimalWelfare, environment, protection, dogs, cats )

- 3129 days ago -
The moral to this story, Betty believes, is "if you're looking to adopt a rescue animal, remember that they are in a strange and probably stressful environment. So give them time to get comfortable with you. Come back and see them again if you have to.

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Jamie L (195)
Saturday June 27, 2009, 12:49 pm
That's true... they just need time to realize you are just gonna love them and they are safe... :) Thanks Cher!

Betty Skatoff of Los Gatos was devastated when she lost her dog, Lizzie, a terrier mix who died at the age of 12. Like many of us, she wasn't sure she could get another dog because the pain of losing them is too great.

But her other dog, Tucker, who is very friendly and social, persuaded her to try again.

So Betty started looking for a Lizzie look-alike and found "a small version of Lizzie at a NARF (Nike Animal Rescue Foundation) adoption fair in San Jose." That dog, named Monroe, was a small terrier mix about 11/2 years old.

"He looked very sweet and was all black like Lizzie," Betty said. "I reached out to pet him and thought he was very cute. He was OK for a bit but then snapped at me."

Betty realized she'd have to think about it. Nobody wants a dog that bites, and Lizzie had been so sweet.

Back home, "I tried to understand his behavior," she said. "I thought that perhaps he was just stressed because all of these strange people were 'pawing' him. So I called the rescue group and asked to meet Monroe again."

Betty went to the foster home where Monroe had been staying while he awaited adoption and spent some time with him. He didn't snap at her this time, and he seemed to hit it off with Tucker.

She decided to adopt him.

"Fast-forward many months and Monroe, now named Marlowe, is the new love of my life," Betty said. "He is so affectionate, so sweet and so loving. He adores me and my husband.

He idolizes Tucker and follows him everywhere. Even Daisy Mae, our shy cat, has accepted him."

And if that weren't enough, Marlowe "has an incredibly charming personality and is, in fact, the center of attention of everyone in the household. We all love him to pieces."

The moral to this story, Betty believes, is "if you're looking to adopt a rescue animal, remember that they are in a strange and probably stressful environment. So give them time to get comfortable with you. Come back and see them again if you have to. I'm sure glad that I gave Marlowe a second chance."

Betty speaks from experience. She volunteers at a couple of animal shelters and notices that people looking to adopt animals pass them by "if they don't react to them immediately. If they don't come up and say 'hello,' they keep on walking," she said.

"Give them a chance before you write them off. They will end up being great pets."

It must be terrible for animals to have had a nice life with someone, and then suddenly be moved to a cage with the people they had loved nowhere in sight. So do give them an extra moment, even if you don't take them home.

Pets' least favorite holiday, July Fourth, is just a few days away, and I urge you to give some thought to how all of those sudden mini-explosions affect your pets.

The experts at Purdue University's veterinary school offer some great tips:

# Never leave pets outdoors alone, even if tethered in a fenced yard. Dogs especially may escape when the fireworks start.

# Make sure all sharp objects are removed from pets' enclosures. They can get hurt if they panic if fireworks start going off.

# Turn on the radio or TV for distraction.

# Do not take pets to fireworks shows, even though you think they look so cute and wouldn't mind. They do.

# Do not leave a pet in a car unattended.

# Keep pets on leash or in a carrier if they must be outside.

# Protect animals from children who don't realize that waving sparklers in their dog's or cat's face is not the best thing to do.

# Make sure your pets have ID tags so that if the worst happens and they get out, you have a good chance of getting them back.

So go enjoy the big fireworks displays with your human friends, leaving your pets safely at home. They'll still be there when you get back, wondering where you're been.
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