INGHAM COUNTY - Adopting a pet is a big responsibility and Ingham County Animal Control has some tips for people searching to bring a new pet into their home.
Due to the coronavirus pandemic, many people are working from home, which offers a great opportunity to train and spend time with pets. Something people should consider is if they will have enough time to care for the pet once they are no longer working remote.
“Unless you’re still committed to spending that time with your pet, and to get them all the exercise, all those energy things make sure this is going to be a good long-term fit for you, not just a right now fit,” said Ingham County Animal Control Office Manager, Kate Turner.
For people that choose to adopt pets from breeders, ICAC recommends people meet the breeders at the place where both the animal's parents are. Also, make sure the area and its surroundings are sanitary.
“Not all behaviors are learned, some of them are inherited,” said Turner. “So, if mom is unfriendly or reactive or dad is aggressive, there is a chance that those behavior traits are going to be in your new puppy.”
A red flag people should be aware of is if there are multiple litters available for purchase at the same time. Most pet breeders specialized in one or two breeds and they shouldn’t have many litters at one time if they are safely breeding the dogs or cats.
“Most responsible breeders will only have one or two litters through a year,” said Turner.
Health conditions in some breeds are hereditary and most genetic issues can be screened in advance to ensure the animal is healthy and will breed healthy babies. Kittens and puppies should not leave their mother until they are over eight-weeks old.
“It’s actually illegal to re-home a pet under the age of eight weeks,” said Turner.
Currently, ICAC has around five dogs and around a dozen cats waiting to be adopted into a new home.
For those who aren’t sure if their home is ready to welcome a pet, the shelter offers a pet fostering program and has their Home for the Holidays program coming up, that places shelter animals in homes, while shelter hours are reduced during the holiday season.
“That two-week period is a really good time to test run,” said Turner. “There’s no commitment to adopt you’re not signing away for the rest of this pet’s life, you’re signing on for two weeks.”
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