Author: Cheryl
•11:00 AM

Being the owner of 7 pets and a former animal rescuer and shelter volunteer, it is well known amongst most of my friends and colleagues that I like my furry creatures.However that doesn't stop some of them from doing things about animals or saying things about animals that makes me lose my mind, pull out my hair, or bite my tongue until it bleeds.Let me give you some examples. This might give you a clue on what not to say to an animal lover.

What you shouldn't do

1.) A picture of a dead deer that someone hunted hanging over their desk is not awesome to me. A picture of a dead deer that your sister sent you with a funny sign over it is still not funny.

2.) Telling me how you are getting your cat declawed even though I gave you 800 other options to do instead is not a wise move. If you are going to do it anyway, just don’t tell me you did it. And don’t tell me not to judge you if you do it anyway. You tell me, I will judge.

3.) #2 also applies to buying from a pet store or add in the paper instead of a shelter, getting your dogs ears or tail cropped, giving it up to a shelter cause it peed on your rug, or putting it to sleep because you don’t want to spend the money to get it medical attention. If you don’t want to hear a peep out of me, never tell me it happened.

4.) Start off a sentence with “I know you love animals, but…” is never a good again. Again “Silence is Golden”.

5.) Don’t come to me or send me info on an animal you found that you need to find a home for and threaten me with “if I don’t find a home for it in 5 days, I am taking it to the shelter”. Emotional blackmail does not make you my friend.

6.) Don’t tell me animal horror stories, or a bad report you saw on the news. I see plenty of them myself. In that case, misery doesn’t want any more company.

What you should do

1.) Treat my love of pets with respect. You don’t have to feel the same way or understand why I do. But respect my opinion.

2.) Feel free to come to me for suggestions on helping you with finding a pet in a shelter or rescue.

3.) Ask me advice on dealing with pets behavior. I’m not an expert, but with 7 cats I got a pretty good handle on what they do. If I don’t know the answer, I will find it out from someone for you.

4.) Know that getting a pet is a responsibility you should honor for the rest of its life. It is not a “starter child”

5.) Adopting one from a shelter or rescue does require some paperwork, some money and some checking into your background. Don’t expect the shelter or rescue to bend over backwards for you and just give you a pet if you say Boo and hand them money. They want to find the best home for the animal they have been taking care of for weeks or months. You have to prove you are a good owner and have a good home. If you are not approve, don't bad mouth shelters and rescues in general. You may have just not been the right fit for that dog, that shelter or that rescue. There are others.

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On June 9, 2009 at 12:38 PM , Tara said...

Whoo hoo! Amen Sister! I love this post. I just found your blog through GCC blog. It's great! Keep up the good work!