U.S.

March 24, 2012

Advice for prospective owners includes choosing pets with care

Tags:
Written by: anradmin
More articles by »
Photo Credit: Vickey Mouzeacute, U.S. Army GarrisonHawaii Public Affairs
Tatiana (left) and Spc. Aleksandr Boyarko, Troop B, 14th Cavalry Regiment, 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 25th Infantry Division, snuggle with Lira, their 3-year-old Yorkie at "Dog Days of Summer," Aug. 4, 2011, at Schofield Barracks, Hawaii.

HONOLULU, Hawaii — Pet overpopulation is a sad reality in the U.S.

Up to 7 million animals enter U.S. shelters every year, according to the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals.

Of this number, about 60 percent of dogs and 70 percent of cats are euthanized, and less than two percent of cats and 15-20 percent of dogs are returned to their owners, according to the National Council on Pet Population Study and Policy.

Military families on the move should think carefully before taking in an animal to avoid contributing to this problem.

First, take into account your lifestyle and potential commitment to a pet. Are you an active family, with weekend hikes and daily runs, or do you prefer lazy weekends on the couch? Are you home enough to ensure your furry friend will get the exercise, training and attention he or she needs?

An impending overseas move is another consideration. You may not be able to take your pet with you. Many duty stations will only allow shipments of cats and dogs, so a pet rabbit may not be the wisest choice.

And if you plan to live in housing, it’s important to study military housing breed bans and pet limit requirements, so you don’t end up having to give up an animal because your community doesn’t allow it.

As important as evaluating your family circumstances is choosing an ethical location to obtain your pet. Sadly, many pet stores in the U.S. aren’t regulated and deny you the opportunity of personally inspecting the home of a responsible breeder.

“The biggest health consequence, because of poor breeding, is shortened life span and premature death,” said Amanda Morgan, an Air Force spouse and veterinarian technician. “No one wants to spend thousands of dollars on a pet that will only live a few years. This is why potential buyers should do their research and select the best breeder of their future pet.”

A great place to start looking for a “forever” pet is your local animal shelter. Some of these animals are perfectly well behaved and healthy; they were just given up due to an irresponsible owner or one who may have had a family emergency.

However, if you do decide to seek a responsible breeder, ask detailed questions, such as what breed-specific health testing has been performed and what drove the decision to breed. You also should visit the home of the breeder to see firsthand how the puppies are raised.

The Humane Society at www.humanesociety.org has a checklist of questions to ask when looking for the right animal.

As you consider your options, make sure you’re aware of the types of animals that can accompany you on an airplane. Many airlines are prohibiting brachycephalic breeds, also known as snub-nosed dogs, due to their compromised respiratory issues, which have caused deaths in flight.

Just as important as deciding if you can take on a pet and seeking the right location is making sure that animal can go where you go.

While pets can be a wonderful addition to a military family, the decision to have one should be carefully thought out.

Pets depend on us to be their voice and look out for their best interests. By following some of the tips above, we can be sure we are doing right by these family members.




All of this week's top headlines to your email every Friday.


 
 

 
Photo by Casey Slusser, TASC

A Day of Gratitude

Photo by Casey Slusser, TASC Gold Star and Blue Star families assemble with leadership and Soldiers of the National Training Center and Fort Irwin for a photo during the “Day of Gratitude” event here, Nov. 25. In an ongoing...
 
 
DoD
Gustavo Bahena

Defense Secretary: NTC prepares Soldiers for future threats, challenges

Gustavo Bahena Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel speaks with Soldiers during a visit to the training area here, Nov. 16. The Secretary of Defense for the United States observed training and spoke with Soldiers during a visit her...
 
 
Courtesy Photo

Holiday season a time to honor the spirit of gratitude

Courtesy Photo Command Sgt. Maj. Ray Rodriguez, command sergeant major for 1916th Support Battalion, 916th Support Brigade, speaks with community members enjoying a Thanksgiving meal here, Nov. 25. Leadership greeted and served...
 

 
Gustavo Bahena

New Parent Support Program provides gift baskets

Gustavo Bahena Stephanie Ferguson, a registered nurse with New Parent Support Program, Family Advocacy Program, holds items for a “Welcome Home Baby Basket” gift. Ferguson meets new babies’ families at home and provides a...
 
 
Photo courtesy of Sue Ollar

Worth the journey

Photo courtesy of Sue Ollar Steven Shopa, Colt Boehringer and Blake Bair make the Scout sign during a ceremony in which they were awarded the Eagle Scout medal. Three Boy Scouts achieved the rank of Eagle Scout during a ceremon...
 
 
Photo by Casey Slusser, TASC

Thanksgiving meal brings community together

Photo by Casey Slusser, TASC A Gold Star Family child receives a Thanksgiving meal from a Fort Irwin commissioned officer at a dining facility here, Nov. 25. The Fort Irwin community was treated to a Thanksgiving feast at both ...
 




One Comment


  1. Kelly

    I hope people will take this to heart. It is too sad how many animals in our country are treated badly.



Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>


Directory powered by Business Directory Plugin