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Adopt A Pet...At Your Own Risk; Sensible Tips and Advice Before Adopting

Updated on September 6, 2013

Disclaimer: I Love Animals!

I began receiving a negative response from readers after completing this hub so I felt it necessary to begin another way...a disclaimer I guess: I am not against pet adoption. There are numerous sites and resources on why you should adopt. Since there are so many resources out there in favor of, I wanted to write something, not only based on my experiences, but in general about the reality of adopting a pet. Truth is, it's not always the best choice for everyone. I'm simply portraying the other side of this so before you demonize me, I love animals.

Be very prepared

You really don't know what you get when you adopt an animal. Are you up for anything? It is not unlike buying a used car. You may not know exactly what the pet's past is and that can deeply effect any animal. It can be completely worth it or you can be facing a lot of surprise issues that come up.

If you notice the little information cards located on the animal's enclosures at shelters, it often has it's positives listed. Yes, many dogs will have warnings against kids and the warning is there for a reason- take heed. Here's what you should know about that:

  • Make sure you talk with someone knowledgeable at the shelter or rescue organization. Many will have extra info that's not listed on the cards. Sometimes they will have someone who specializes in certain breeds of dogs or rabbit adoptions, etc.
  • If you plan on being in an area with kids, do not adopt the pet that has a warning. This means if you live in a neighborhood where kids play often or a park or you have grandchildren, well, you name it...tell me where there are absolutely no kids! I have a dog that had 6 months bad experience with kids and he is now 10. We have no freedom with him being around kids at all. I have two small kids trained around him, but must be closely supervised and the only reason I did not get rid of him (we had him before we had kids) is because he is a chihuahua and they are not likely/not able to maul a kid. Bite? Yes, but not much damage. It's been a lot of work.
  • If they do not like kids, they could have long-term trust issues and can turn on anyone, even their adult owner.
  • You will never/ highly unlikely be able to train this out of them no matter how young- like I said, our dog was 6 months old when we got him and being around a wild 2 and 4 yr old during that time, stuck with him.
  • You will be held liable if your dog attacks a kid. If a dog doesn't like a certain group, like kids, then he doesn't like fast movements or loud sudden noises- this can come in many packages other than kids. We have a loud adult male friend and our dog despises him.
  • This won't be a "project" to work on him- it's part of his instincts now so don't take this project on. I have to say, I wish we hadn't taken on our project dog- it worries me everyday with our kids, it takes a lot of extra work to have him out of his kennel with the kids around.
  • Never get an animal because you feel sorry for it. I'd have the world's largest zoo if this were the case. This is no different than impulsive buying based on a whim, which rarely turns out good.
  • If you treat this animal great, they can still be unpredictable. When a dog has been abused (abuse by their definition, which can be as insignificant as being overly stressed) it will resort to those instincts first- it will not care about being socialized or being social. Those early experiences are always with them.

Up For Adoption

Here are some reasons an animal comes to a shelter, and things you need to think about before adopting:

  1. Abused, found neglected or abandoned. This animal will likely have some psychological and physical issues so be very prepared...and patient. Since they were treated/ or lived like a wild animal having to rely on instinct, they will have strong instincts to protect themselves and likely be fearful. Some of these things you will be able to train out and gain trust, but it's not a guarantee.
  2. Child did not care for animal so parents brought it in. Hopefully you know children can not care for an animal without a lot of assistance, but this happens often with the small animal groups like rabbits.
  3. Unable or unwilling owners not training them. Pets come with no manners and training the is necessary. Unfortunately many of these type of pets are not, and are difficult to potty train. Be prepared! Patience and a great carpet cleaner are a must.
  4. Owners are moving, can't keep pet. Some people don't want to take their dog to a new houses so as to keep the house clean. Ridiculous, yes. These animals may also have potty issues.
  5. Money, lack of or health problems of animal cost too much. In our economy, we really have to consider our living and money situation changing at any moment. Pets are a commitment of time and years.

There are other reasons such as an owner giving up her dog's puppies, but they may not be healthy as the owner obviously didn't take precautions against the dog getting pregnant in the first place. Allergies can be another one...truly sad. I mention all the above points because I really want people to consider their adoptive pet's background.

Getting Jacked!

I added this section in as an afterthought and it really is important! One main reason people find themselves discouraged by their pets or why many are given up is we all know, or can at least predict, how expensive vet care is. Recently I compared two different vets within miles of each other and one wanted $225 for spaying a rodent.

Unfortunately after only checking with this particular vet clinic a few years ago, we gave our guinea pig, who was biting, to a friend of ours who knew and loved these creatures. We could not afford to neuter him, guessing his biting was due to hormone changes, and we did not compare prices. And now considering this for our rabbit, I decided to shop around and that's where I came up with the $225 compared to the same procedure at a different clinic costing $73. I wish I had shopped around for our guinea pig, but that's why I stress around for vets. I've found that more out-in-the-country type of vets charge less. That's my experience living close to a city.

It's very discouraging that vets can have such a range in prices and charges, not unlike the used car experience. I believe it also contributes to many people giving up a pet. Too bad...


Mileage and appearance have nothing to do with the health of a car. It really depends on the prior owner(s) and the manufacturer. As in pets, it depends on the prior owner(s) and the health of the environment and parents from which it came from. Most of the time, we know nothing about this when adopting a used car :-) or a pet.

Many of the cute, cuddly baby animals at a rescue center or humane society come from an unsanitary, awful environment and their parents were likely unhealthy. My dog being 6 months old not only came from a bad situation with kids, but came from someone who fed him only lunch/deli meats and treats. Because of this, we have to feed him special formulated dog food and absolutely no human food or he pukes it up- did I mention he has ulcers too?

While I say there are no health guarantees with any animal from a breeder, pet store, or wherever, it is almost a guarantee that your rescue animal will have health issues. I would put a larger than 50/50 chance on it. In fact rescue organizations compile statistics and about 30 up to 50% have health issues and about that many have never been to a vaccinations. 96% have not had any obedience training.

Never a Deal

There is no such thing as a "deal" when it comes to rescuing an animal. I hear people say, the animals cost less than a pet store and are usually neutered or spayed. When adopting an animal, PLEASE consider the cost of very possible vet bills in the future. What can seem like a good deal initially buying the pet from a shelter, may not pay off in the long run if you are concerned about money.

Even as well intentioned as humane societies or rescue centers are, it is difficult to keep an overly populated area with animals clean and completely sanitary. One example of this was recently my young daughter and I went to a large pet chain store and they had a rescue group there with animals in open exercise pens right in the middle of the store. We walked by and they were very cute- lots of puppies! Many kids were petting them. I watched for a while adoring them from a distance.

The owner of this rescue agency was practically auctioning off these animals. I asked how much for this one puppy...out of curiosity, and she says $300. She was extremely busy quoting prices to other people so when we were done with our shopping, I came back around and asked her again, knowing she did not remember me and she quoted $200 for the same puppy! Used cars!!! If you think people at rescue places are in it for the animals, think again. They are very compassionate...about money!

This story doesn't end here: My daughter reached over to pet one of the puppies and it jumped onto her, scratching next to one of her eyes. the very next day she woke up with her eye pussing yellow ooze! Yep, bad eye infection.These dogs were out for everyone to pet. I read some info laid open in one of their files and one of the puppies had ringworm...out in the open for kids to pet. What a disgrace!

The Pet Store

You will run into the same problems with a pet store as well. I would always suggest the best place to get an animal is from a reputable breeder, not just any breeder. One who has records, gives health info and guarantees.

Reputable breeders will breed out behavioral problems and typical health issues as well. I went to look at a breeder's baby rabbits and she literally opened up her garage to show me tons of baby rabbits in cramped cages right next to a large cage of birds who freely pooped wherever it happened to land. This was not a reputable breeder!

I've had horrible issues with pet stores and the health of animals (a puppy with Giardia and a rabbit that died shortly after getting it). Just as a humane society, the pet store often does not know where the animals come from and what conditions. Pet stores are in it for money and I have known many privately owned or non-profit rescue agencies who also do it for money. Sad, but true.

When dealing with either a pet store or rescue agency, you need to know used car salesman lingo.

  • Ask detailed health questions. Deworming, how were the parents, who do you buy from, where did they come from. If they can't give you details or always put a positive spin on it without truly answering your questions, walk away.
  • Know how to determine how old the animal is. Often pet stores get in animals way too young to be weaned from their moms.
  • Never get the animal if they said they just got it in. I went into the local human society and asked how old a rabbit was and they said this rabbit was healthy, yet only got it the day before. How do they truly know if it's only been there that short of a time. I also got our rabbit from a pet store when they had just come in. They explained to me if they see a rabbit that looks sick they take it in the back for medicine and isolate it. Well that's great if the animal has been in their care for a few days.
  • Be in investigative mode. Never make an impulsive pet buy, which most people do. I did recently with our (dead)rabbit. Now I am doing my research. I am learning what to look out for with health concerns and who is reputable to buy form. If what they say doesn't seem right or feel right, walk away. trust your instincts.
  • Google it! Google a lot of info about the type of pet you want to get. Then google the pet store for reviews- if you choose to purchase a pet from a store. The pet store I bought from must have a record for worst reviews! Ugh, What a mistake!

Who a Rescue Pet is NOT For!!! Please Read!!!

  • Not for small kids at all. Even if they do not have a warning against kids on their profile, rescue animals are unpredictable because you do not know their past. You would not let a stranger into your home or someone you didn't know.
  • Not for first timers- first timers for pets will be in over their head anyway, having a new pet to learn about. For example if it's their first time owning a dog or a rabbit, a rescue option is not good!
  • Someone without good resources. Rescuing a pet, you will need to have a good vet picked out and back up options for your rescue pet's nuances they come with...they may not like cats so if you have one, you'll have to separate them. Your rescue pet will come with some baggage so be prepared...financially too.
  • Rescuing just to rescue. Don't make rescuing your only option. There is a certain status award for the kind, giving, loving people who take in a pet. Everybody wants to give you the Humanitarian Award of The Year for adopting a pet. In psychology, we were taught that charity is also selfish. People do it to feel good, therefore they're doing for their own inner award. I'm not knocking charity, but I'm asking you to question your true intentions with rescuing.

Feel Good Anyway

If you don't adopt a pet, there are many ways to support pets who need adopting. Volunteering your time and money are just a couple of ways.

Just Do It

Adopt an animal if you have the time, resources, and flexibility. Most likely you would need to treat this animal as a special needs pet, or family member. I know a few people who never had kids and their animals are their kids- they make wonderful adoptive pet owners. There are lonely seniors that would benefit, healthwise, from owning a pet. People with older children who know how to be around animals.They make great owners as well. There are many people whom an adoptive pet would work for and they will most likely be the ones who do it for the sake of providing a great home especially with that animal in mind.


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    • izettl profile imageAUTHOR

      Laura Izett-Irwin 

      7 years ago from The Great Northwest

      College dad,

      I got to laugh about the reptile statement. We have a neurotic dog and two bunnies. I prefer the quiet bunnies. Our dog was like this at only 6 months old when we got him, only worse with age. My goal here is for people to consider the best option for them. It certainly takes dedication and patience, money too, to care for adoptive pets. Thanks for sharing...

    • collegedad profile image


      7 years ago from The Upper Peninsula

      I found this hub to be very intriguing. My family has adopted two dogs. Both came with major issues. The first was bipolar. One minute she'd be happy go lucky and the next minute she'd attack anyone who came near her. She even went after the vet who found nothing wrong with her. The second dog was in insensate barker. She would bark until nothing came out. It didn't matter what we did she started barking on the way out the door. We later found out that she'd been returned to the shelter several times. We now keep reptiles............much quieter.

    • izettl profile imageAUTHOR

      Laura Izett-Irwin 

      7 years ago from The Great Northwest

      khmazz~ thanks. I think there should be consideration of both the pros and cons. Too often we get one side- preaching to us to adopt and yet it isn't for everyone.

      FIS~ Absolutely agree with it being a lot of work. One of the main misconceptions about adopting a pet is that it's healthy. In fact, if you go onto the humane society website for reasons TO adopt, they list that 'You're getting a healthy pet'. Hardly and not even usually. I also agree, and it's why I listed it, about pet shops- most certainly not the best place for a pet. And like i stated in the hub, breeders are best but it must be a reputable breeder or someone you've been referred to. I also like your clergy story- very true.

    • khmazz profile image

      Kristen Mazzola 

      7 years ago from South Florida

      It is true that there needs to be both sides of this argument brought to light. I found your hub to be very interesting and informative for an opposing argument. Adoption needs to be considered carefully for all pros and cons, nice work!

    • FIS profile image


      7 years ago

      Hi Laura,

      The thing is, I think that no matter where you get a pet, you should be prepared for a lot of work, love and heartache. I can't speak to bunnies.. but... dogs and cats have nervous systems. They can feel pain and they can suffer. They also have brains, minds, emotions and personalities. Taking something with that description into your home is always going to be a lot of work. Always. I think that, not accepting that same sort of responsibility that we would have for and with every other personality that we live with is horrible. Plus.. we have the added responsibility of "knowing better" than animals. I once asked a clergy lady "If I'm carrying a basket of Laundry and it blocks my vision of the floor.. and the cat is lurking around my feet... and I step on the cat... is it my fault for being clumsy or the cat's for being underfoot." she said "Yours, you know better."

      I am a firm believer in not having mammals as pets for families with young children. A gold fish ought to satisfy the needs and a dog or cat can join the family when the kids learn a little empathy. Of course, I don't know what to tell people in your circumstance where the dog predates the kids.. though..... I tend to side with the dog.. he's been there longer and will be there for a shorter amount of time. All of that said... having dog friends was one of the best parts of my childhood and... as always.. I think.. knowing the circumstances will give a better outcome than a hard and fast rule.

    • izettl profile imageAUTHOR

      Laura Izett-Irwin 

      7 years ago from The Great Northwest

      Thank you Amy for sharing. I completely agree that honesty doesn't always occur in the practice of those caring for the rescue animals. I found a lot of dishonesty in rescue groups. Sad, but true.

      That being said, I am glad you found a sweet dog. I know you really missed macgregor. I think you know I have rheumatoid arthritis and I take meds that make me more susceptible to catching other illness. Yes, I get paranoid about pet stores even. We got a puppy from one and a week later found it to have giardia. Problem was I was pregnant with my second child and already at high risk. I worked with the pet store in returning it, not at first, but after I got a letter from my doctor. Giardia isn't a joke and with my daughter who wasn't quite 4 I also worried. Kids stick their hands in their mouth constantly.and that's another of my points, maybe not the best thing to adopt with small children. At least you took the time and care for your new dog. I hope she is healthy and becomes a great companion.

      Based on your story, I added in another section, Getting Jacked, to my hub. It reminded me of points I wanted to make about vets too. Thanks for the inspiration!

    • izettl profile imageAUTHOR

      Laura Izett-Irwin 

      7 years ago from The Great Northwest

      FIS, thank you for making a valid point. Yours and your wifes experiences are a wonderful example of my main point. Throughout, I discuss being prepared, knowing what you're getting into, and it possibly and likely being a lot of work. Your wife worked really hard with that cat and many people with kids or other responsibilities in our fast world, do not have that time or resources.

      I give a one sided view here because there is an abundance of info from places convincing people to adopt without other and extra considerations. There is such a push for it as I compare that push to the used car experience. There are always two sides and I think you'd agree that the pro side of adopting is well covered on the Internet.

    • FIS profile image


      7 years ago

      My wife rented a trap and caught a feral cat in our back yard. Completely wild and instinctual. She put it in a room by itself, away from me and the other cats. Every night she went in and feed it... and read the paper and just spent time around it. She worked this into giving her treats for appropriate behavior and as bribes to socialization. When the cat no longer showed any sort of anti social or violent behavior. She put a screen in the door to that room that even a determined cat couldn't get through, so that the other cats and the feral (Perrian by name) could see and smell each other but not touch.. again a long time went by. When she judged that Perrian was sufficantly tamed.. she let her out into the house. She was a doll... one of the great moments of my life was when we had workman over putting a new plaster ceiling in the living room. The cats and I were trapped in one small room for their safety. I stayed with them because they were afraid.. and.. they at least.... see me as an alpha ha ha ha. Perian had never let me get anywhere near her before. When the workman were getting noisy and terrified her she jumped up on me, curled up in my arms and sought my protection rather than to follow an instinct to violence of some sort. She was tamed and never even started a fight with the other cats until the day she died. Although she could defend herself.

      When I was a boy I had an Irish Setter. Bought from a breeder... her official breeder name was Mistress Margret, she was from a line of show dogs. We called her Peggy. She was my best friend and she broke my heart by being my first experience with death. She died too young and when I was still too young because she had epilepsy, grand mall. She would fall to the ground and shake like she was possessed... and when she got up she foamed at the mouth and had a temporary memory loss where she didn't remember who we were and and was terrified and let us all know not to come near her or she would attack. My mother eventually had her euthanized for fear that she might have an attack in the middle of the night while sleeping at the foot of my bed and that I would be in danger. Epilepsy is of course a genetic disease. A lot of Irish Setters have it. I don't know if our breeder would have given my mother her money back or not but, certain genetic diseases are the risk you take with bred dogs. They stay in families for many generations before they can (if ever) be bred out.

      Your article makes valid points but it doesn't capture the entire picture. As with all things and all situations, there will be bad with the good and vice a versa. I think the article does a disservice to rescue groups. Though... before you adopt, it is true, the more you can learn the better. My wife has worked with a lot of rescue groups and while I have seen evidence of embezzlement, once, more often than not... I see evidence that taking care of homeless animals is really expensive and there isn't a lot of money to embezzle. I have seen more evidence of the occasional shelter run by the equivalent of a crazy cat lady who uses the shelter as cover for her hording, her own mental illness. But, as with anything else.. best not to do anything till you get the big picture.

      I also know some activists who would point out that there are two kinds of breeders... and.. one of those types is called a puppy mill.. caveat emptor.

      As to the value of rescue.. well.. my wife invites anyone who is opposed to the rescue movement to come and live in our back yard in Buffalo New York next February.

    • Amy Becherer profile image

      Amy Becherer 

      7 years ago from St. Louis, MO

      Dear Izettl, I lost my beloved Scottish Terrier, MacGregor, this past July 2012. My ex gave him to me as a 'discussed' Christmas gift, as I'd always longed for a Scottie. He was a purebred wheaton colored Scotsman purchased after Paul researched and talked with the reputable breeder in Iowa. I wouldn't have given up one moment with Mac, although his chronic atopic skin disease (discovered after we already loved him) was very expensive after I was laid off. The vet who treated Mac while I lived in Hillsboro, MO charged me $145 for a one month supply of Atopica, which I found online at PetMeds (they honor price matching) for $50 a month with free shipping. In my personal experience, I have been disheartened by the incompetency and greed I have encountered in vet practices. Mac died just shy of 9 years old due to TCC, a bladder cancer prevalent in Scottish Terriers. He was in the vet's office when he urinated mostly blood. I panicked and flat out asked the vet if she thought it was bladder cancer. She said "lets not jump to conclusions, it's probably a bladder infection". So, I treated Mac for 3-1/2 months with an extremely expensive antibiotic. By the time the vet did an ultrasound, the tumor in his bladder had grown into his ureters. I am not deluding myself that an earlier diagnosis would have made any difference in this usually inoperable, fatal form of cancer. However, there was no deliberation regarding the $200 I was charged for each visit, due at the time of the service. At this same vet hospital, a different vet treated Mac for an ear infection. He jacked me around for a couple of months with different eardrops. Finally, I begged him to prescribe oral antibiotics, as Mac was completely deaf at this point. He relinquished and within 3 days, Mac regained his hearing from the middle ear infection the incompetent vet could not visualize with the otoscope due to the swelling! That is not an excuse. It is ignorance. Like every endeavor, be it having a child, adopting a pet, eating a meal in a restaurant or getting in the car, there is always risk. It is inherent in life. There are no guarantees. I appreciate your sincerity in simply advising caution in adopting any pet, which brings me to my next chapter.

      I adopted a 4 year old, female Scottish Terrier from a local vet who rescued her from a Potosi puppy mill. The vet would have allowed me to take her home the day I met the pup, who was being flea dipped daily for massive fleas, and had every intestinal worm known to man in addition to Giardia. She had bald patches on her skin, which was raw from flea bites and scratching. She was sweet, though, and adorable. I went back to see her about a week later. She looked better, but I noticed she was shaking her head and scratching her ears, which I told the rescue vet. This gave me pause, as the dog was staying at her non-profit rescue located at her vet clinic. She told me she would check the pup's ears. Long story (sorry)/short, I brought the pup home and named her "Mackie". She is incredibly sweet and her hair is shiny, thick and growing long, and her disposition is easy and sweet. However...the rescue vet adopted her to me before her spay appt. because she was anxious to place the pup. I have a Crohns like autoimmune disease with small bowel involvement. Mackie still had tapeworms, which I discovered after I got her home. Her health record shows she was treated with Panacur-C for worms. I consulted with my brother, a PhD microbiologist and parasitologist at UC, Davis, who recommended Petco's Tapeworm Tabs as the only med that reliably quickly gets rid of tape worms. This was after I took Mackie back to the rescue vet who merely prescribed another round of ineffective Panacur-C to tune of another $45. Two days later, I had to take Mackie back to the vet for her ears to the tune of another $53. I paid $180 for her adoption fee. Though her spay is included in that fee, I am now attached and protective with Mackie and do not feel good about subjecting her to surgery at the hands of this vet. So, I spent another $120 for a complete checkup, including a recheck for parasites, which found she was not treated for Giardia. Giardia is zoonomic.

      The bottom line for me is the animals are innocent. It is the rescuers that I blame for deceptive practices that make the experience horrendous for not only the needy animals, but the adoptive animal lovers. When it is a vet, it violates the basic oath to "first, do no harm." Yet, I would no more 'return' Mackie than I would if I had a child with a genetic disease or a child permanently damaged by an accident at birth.

      And, what happens to all the animals that are abandoned, neglected or abused if there are no homes? The economy has brutally cut programs and gifts of charity to organizations, as putting dinner on the table is now a priority and for many of us, the basics have become our priorities. No kill shelters will be few and far between the old standards of euthanasia if the funding isn't there to maintain them. I believe the blame for much of the real problems you outline, Izettl, lie with the rescue groups and the vets that treat the rescue animals. Honesty will place more pets and result in fewer returns. It's the right thing to do by the animals and those with the desire to give a critter a forever home.

    • izettl profile imageAUTHOR

      Laura Izett-Irwin 

      7 years ago from The Great Northwest

      Angela~ I know there will be tons of people on here who have great experiences with adopting a pet. I have had both good and bad. If kids are in the mix, I would never think it is worth the risk both for health reasons and unpredictable behavior. certainly there are plenty of sites and articles boasting the best about adopting a pet, but I really want people to be informed, there is an ugly side as well. I want people to be smart about it.

      drbj~ Oh dang I wrote another one of those hubs that people love to disagree with. Thanks for stopping by and giving your support...or would that be my first neutral/nice comment. I encourage people to adopt if they've considered everything and are educated about it. I know people recently that have had issues (they both have kids- both adopted dogs and they've turned on the kids) so it's not uncommon and we never hear anything about it. That's why I felt pressed to write this. It needs to be addressed and nobody wants to be that person. I love animals don't get me wrong. If a dog does bite a kid, it's likely to be euthanized.

    • izettl profile imageAUTHOR

      Laura Izett-Irwin 

      7 years ago from The Great Northwest

      livhappy~ It's not like that. We have been gentle and kind and neither of my kids have ever hurt our dog, but if one reaches for him, he can growl or snap. Talking to vets and trainers (our dog went to numerous trainers) this is typical and not easy to train out of them.

      If you have kids, you would not want your kids at risk for the sake of simply adopting a dog. My kid's wellness is more important than the overpopulation of animals.

      kidscrafts~ honestly I think cats are probably the most adaptable to kids. If anythign I think the kids would be more likely to injure them than vice versa. Thanks for sharing your experience. I have rescued a cat as well and had no issues, but I did not have kids. I have not heard of any issues with adoptive cats and kids, only health issues of the cats.

      DrMark~ I'm simply comparing rabbits to any animal that has certain instincts. Dogs have instincts to protect themselves especially if they've been abused. That instinct will never go away- that's why they call it an instinct. The same with rabbits, as I used for an example. They must carefully be cared for because their prey instinct will never go away- not trainable. I explained the pet adoptive process and considerations are a lot like buying a used car- please note that I stated it is the EXPERIENCE. I want to emphasize that people should not go into the process uninformed. If you get past the comparison that I am not making (pets to used cars) then you would see that my info provided here, and tips, are educating people before adopting.

    • drbj profile image

      drbj and sherry 

      7 years ago from south Florida

      These are thoughtful statements you have written, Laura, about adopting pets but unfortunately many pet buyers are not aware of these sensible principles.

    • Angela Blair profile image

      Angela Blair 

      7 years ago from Central Texas

      I must be the exception when it comes to adopting pets -- all my experiences have been wonderful and there's been lots of them over my long life. You bring out some good points for careful consideration before adopting -- Best/Sis

    • DrMark1961 profile image

      Dr Mark 

      7 years ago from The Atlantic Rain Forest, Brazil

      Looking over my comment, I made no mention of a rabbit. Is this how you were trained to discuss an issue? Do you just make things up as it suits you?

      You are insinuating pets are cars, over and over.

    • kidscrafts profile image


      7 years ago from Ottawa, Canada

      I had cats all my a kid and as an adult. I never bought a cat, I get them from people who don't know what to do with the kittens. I even moved with one cat from Belgium to Canada. She had a long and happy life; she lived 16 years! I raised my kids with cats and they learn to respect animals and animals are also confidend for kids sometimes.

      My second cat (as an adult) was really special; when my kids were babies, she woke me up a little bit before my kids start to cry. She lived more that 18 years. Since that I had three other cats : one past away at 15 years old. I have one who is 17 years old and a 2 years old. Cats are great company for kids and adults alike :-)

    • livhappy profile image

      Josh Schaitel and Olivia Alverson 

      7 years ago

      So you think it's better to over populate than it is to rescue? The risk of any animal harming kids is a risk that's based on how you care for them that matters. Unless they feel povoked they won't harm. Yes it will be hard to gain their trust but its up to the owner to put effort into the animal to help. Its the same thing with a troubled kid that is yours or you adopt.

    • izettl profile imageAUTHOR

      Laura Izett-Irwin 

      7 years ago from The Great Northwest

      DrMark~ are you also going to train the prey instinct out of a rabbit too? You must be super animal man! You can't train it out of them - this is my experience with several vets who've confirmed it. you take this dog to a trainer and waste your money. most dogs in shelters come with a warning about kids. i don't want people foolishly thinking they can train it out of them- if that were more possible than not, then they wouldn't even have those warnings.

      Of course i didn't write his simply on my own experiences (even though those are my examples)- I listen to people both professional and pet owners. And these examples are true for many or else i would not have spent the time writing this at all. How is buying a pet for rescue different than a used car- the experience is the same. I'm not insinuating pets are cars but the experience is comparable. People at agencies and advocacy groups are pushy and you don't know the pet's true history.

      I'm saying that if someone can't rescue a pet it is better to at least donate then to do nothing at all. Are your saying it is better to do nothing than to donate? It absolutely does nothing? really?

    • DrMark1961 profile image

      Dr Mark 

      7 years ago from The Atlantic Rain Forest, Brazil

      It is fine to get people to think more about their actions, but you make a lot of generalizations like "you will never be able to train this out of them no matter how you" that are not true. Your experience with one dog does not mean that you can speak for every dog out there.

      A dog is not a used car.

      Maybe giving money makes you feel better. It doesn´t do much for the dogs.


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