Websites on Animal Behavior:
Websites on Training
Andrea Arden Dog Training
LLC and Walk This Way
Canine Behavior Therapy
New York Walk and Train
Ten Books for Pet Owners by Association of Pet
Still thinking of giving up
If you believe you must find a new home
for your companion animal or the stray you found, then
you must be prepared to spend time and effort to do right
by your friend. You once made a commitment to care for
this living, breathing, feeling animal. It is worth every
hour you spend to find him or her a decent home. You
will sleep better at night.
Note: For Military Personnel
who have been deployed to active duty, there are programs
that can help you keep your pets! As
mentioned in Newsweek (March 14, 2005), Operation
Noble Foster matches called-up cat owners
with families willing to take in their pets.
Also mentioned in the same Newsweek
article, the NetPets
Military Pets Foster Project offers the
same service for cats, dogs, birds, fish, and even horses.
Is There Any Way To Keep Him/Her
Below are many of the reasons that people
choose to give up their pet. Many of these do have
solutions and we encourage you to do everything possible
to accommodate your pet or the stray into your household. If
you need advice from us, please call us before you are
to the point of total frustration.
Find a situation that allows pets. There
are plenty of landlords who do allow pets. Take the time
to find them. And if you're worried about a pet deposit,
just think of this: what's worth more to you, a few fast-food
meals or the life of a loyal friend?
Visit your doctor to find out if your
allergies can be controlled through medication and/or
diet. If medications do not help you entirely, then try
these solutions: Allerpet/D, available in many pet stores
and by mail order. Apply to pet's fur using washcloth
once a week. It neutralizes the dander. Nature's Miracle
works in a similar manner. Cats can be bathed in distilled
water to remove their allergens. Talk with your veterinarian
about these and other solutions to the allergy problem.
In most cases, the problems are quite
solvable if you make a little effort. An animal is like
a child. Set no boundaries, ignore him, give her nothing
to do, teach him nothing...the child will not be well-adjusted
and will not learn to behave. It is up to you to teach
your animal kindly and consistently what is expected
of him or her. Take obedience classes (contact local
adult education centers and recreation centers, ask neighbors).
Read a book. Practice frequently, with kindness and consistency.
Most animals know how to act, we humans need to be trained
in how to interact with our animals. Do not leave your
items where your animal can eat them - it isn't the cat's/dog's
fault if he/she can't distinguish between the blanket
you have let him chew on in his crate and your favorite
clothing. Consistency is the key. Positive reinforcement
works faster than negative reinforcement.
Destructive behavior/house soiling/barking
Does your dog destroy things when you
leave? Does your dog pee/poop in the house? Use a crate
when you leave the dog alone. Crates have been proven
over and over to be effective. A crate is worth every
penny. Some people believe them to be cruel, but
it is a naturally tendency for your dog to have a small
sleeping area, a den. It is kinder than sending
your dog away. If your dog is barking excessively, you
need obedience instruction. Consider a trip to
the vet. A medical problem can result in sudden
You need obedience training and assistance.
Remember: cats and dogs, like children, learn what they
are taught. What caused the behavior? Does someone
in your home rough-house with the animal? Play tug-of-war?
Yell at the animal? Yell at other people or act violent?
Does a child poke, tease or torment the animal? Or do
you basically ignore the animal unless you're scolding
or punishing him? Try to think about how your animal
learned aggressive behavior, and find out proper techniques
for eradicating it. If your pet is playing rough, you
must stop the play and walk away. Spend quality time
playing with the pet with appropriate toys. Consider
a trip to the vet. But remember, this aggression
did not appear overnight, so the solution will not fix
the problem immediately. You must give your friend
time to relearn appropriate behavior. A medical problem
can result in sudden behavior changes.
How often do you clean out the box?
Is the box in a high traffic area? Have you added additional
cats without adding additional boxes? Have you changed
brands of litter? All of these might cause litterbox
accidents. If there have been no household changes to
trigger this behavior, a trip to the vet is in order.
Your cat may have feline lower urinary tract disease
(cystitis) and needs treatment immediately - do not delay
- your cat could die if he or she has this disease and
is not treated.
Have you provided your cat with appropriate
surfaces (cardboard, sisal or carpeted cat scratching
boards, trees)? Do you trim your cat's claws on a regular
basis? The key is to make the scratching post more interesting
than furniture - invest in good quality posts and treat
the post with catnip. Cover furniture with throws to
protect them during the training period. Use double-faced
tape on edges of things kitty climbs on or scratches.
Use furniture corner covers which can be bought at pet
stores. Is your furniture really worth more than the
life of a living, breathing, sentient being?
You Have Decided You Cannot
Do not expect someone else to take responsibility
for finding a solution--you have to do it. Live up to
the role of concerned caregiver. Do the right thing by
the animal. If that means finding him/her a new
home, do so carefully. Contact the group/person from whom you
obtained pet. If you signed an adoption contract, you
may be bound to return the animal to that group/person.
If your animal is a purebred, check telephone book or
contact local animal control agency for phone numbers
of breed rescue groups in your area. For more
information on finding your pet a home click here.
How Can BAFN Help?
While BAFN is not a typical shelter
but rather a foster group, there are many things we can
do to help, but only if time is not an issue. We can list your animal at our Petfinder.com
area. Please send a detailed description and any photos
you may have of the pet to: firstname.lastname@example.org
Because BAFN is nonprofit and all-volunteer,
we can help only a fraction of the deserving animals
What if We Cannot Help?
If you resort to giving your dog/cat
up to a Humane Society, or other shelter, put your name
down on the adoption waiting list, to give your cat/dog
an extra chance and so at least you will be called before
he or she is euthanized. While some animals are lucky
enough to be adopted from shelters, don't delude yourself:
many are killed within days because there are too few
adopters for the thousands of worthy animals hoping for
a good home. And too many people are willing to give
up a loyal friend.
Before you make your decision--and it
is your decision; your animal has no say--think one last
time what you can do to maintain your friend, companion
animal in your home.