Our guide to animal adoption; learn why, where, and how to prepare to adopt a cat, kitten, dog or puppy from an animal shelter or rescue group.
A "Tail" of 18 cats
Consider me an animal lover. I have five horses, over 100 head of cattle, five dogs, and now over twenty cats. This is possible because I live on a 2000 acre ranch in Eastern New Mexico, have a large hay barn and two shops. The cattle and horses are pasture feeding through the winter and my dogs stay in a large yard.
Adopting a Special Needs Pet
Almost two years ago, I adopted my first cat. Not a family cat, but mine. One I would be responsible for, and who would live with me, wherever that was. A little backstory: the previous year, I had moved away to go to school. I’d tried multiple institutions closer to home, but none really worked for me. Moving away to go to school meant I was on my own for the first time. That first year, I was in a college dorm. The second year, I moved into a studio apartment near campus. Living in a dorm, I had missed having cats around (my family has always had at least one). Moving into a studio apartment, I decided it was time to get my first cat.
The first time that I ever saw Valentino, my family and I were sitting outside in a large dog run. Pomeranians skirted past us, excited to be outside on that warm sunny day. Some of them avoided us, as many of the dogs at NMDR do. NMDR stands for National Mill Dog Rescue, an absolutely wonderful organization located outside of Colorado Springs, Colorado. Valentino was the most skittish out of the group of dogs that my family chose to visit that day. As soon as he was brought into the enclosure, he found a safe place to hide and kept as far away from us as possible. As someone who had already lived with three other mill rescue dogs, I wasn’t surprised when he hid himself away.
There is a soft place in my heart for those who participate in animal rescue. They give so much to save critters that might normally be put down or left to fend for themselves. Have you ever heard of a chicken rescue? No? Let me tell you why…true story.
Little Black Magic Book
I used to be good looking. I had a distinctive look, and I was appreciated, not only for my appearance, but for my wit, my intelligence, and my skills. I was companion to the powerful ones. I guarded them, I guided them, I even gave my life to protect theirs, for all the good it did me.
Fostering Dogs Gone Wrong
Several years ago I decided to start volunteering for a dog rescue in Tuscaloosa. I decided to volunteer originally because two of my friends worked for the rescue. It started out as cleaning cages and feeding the dogs every afternoon. One of the things the rescue does is find foster homes for dogs in order to take in more canines from pounds. The dogs from the rescue are adopted to families after extensive background checks and then driven up north to their new homes when ready.
Being A Pet Parent
When an animal is brought into the home to be adopted or cared for, caring for it is not just a matter of eating and drinking;
Love is Blind
I came from an animal loving family. I had been around all kinds of animals growing up. Dogs, cats, horses, goats, chickens, cows, you name it. I wouldn't call myself a country bumpkin, but I lived in that little part of suburbia that fit right between the city and the farm. So when it came time for me to go to college in Los Angeles and leave my childhood pets at home across the country it wouldn't come as much of a surprise that I didn't take it too well. Animals had been one of my main coping mechanisms for my mental illness for years, and here I was, in a completely new environment, on my own for the first time in my life, and not a dog, cat, or hamster in sight. Don't get me wrong, I was excited to start this new part of my life and get a degree in an industry I love, but even with roommates and classmates and new friends, I felt unbelievably lonely.
An Unexpected Inheritance
I worked one summer in the wilderness for an old-timer named Dinty. Dinty lived on an isolated homestead that had been pieced out of the surrounding national forest – "guvment land," as Dinty used to call it. It was a unique work opportunity for me, as Dinty lived in a roadless area with no phone, no electricity, and no running water. The best way I could describe his lifestyle is Honest Rustic. No frills and no complaints. Just plain ol' hard work in the midst of paradise.
How could I not? I met this little fellow in December, stopping by the Human Society not actually certain I was going to get another pet. It'd been a year almost since my last one passed away. He was nearly twenty-five. He stayed with us throughout most of my son's life and held on at the end until the day my son moved out. You can imagine whos' cat he really was, even though I'd gotten attached to him over the years.
A Tail of 18 cats
Lance Dial A Tail of 18 Cats Consider me an animal lover. I have five horses, over 100 head of cattle, five dogs, and now over twenty cats. This is possible because I live on a 2000 acre ranch in Eastern New Mexico, have a large hay barn and two shops. The cattle and horses are pasture feeding through the winter and my dogs stay in a large yard. Now the issue of my cats. I keep cats around because I have two girls age seven and eight that love playing in the hay barn and shops, most of the time barefooted and ignoring their immediate surroundings. With the ever present threat of rattle snakes, bull snakes, skunks, rats and other pests, my barn cats are worth their weight in gold.
Anyone can foster. Note: Almost anyone can foster. A traveling salesperson probably wouldn't be a good foster. Apart from that, I think that similar to working in retail or customer service, everyone should foster. Unless you absolutely hate animals or are allergic, or just an awful person, you can learn so much by fostering and become a better person for it. Or don't. That's fine too. Who I am to tell you how to live your life. But if you're someone like me who loves animals and never really thought about fostering or ever considered doing it, here are some lessons learned, good advice, food for thought, and personal insights to help you on your way.