With the raise of animals abadon in Portugal, I think this is a great matter to talk. In my opinion, when you adopt an animal, it's not just for Christmas because it's cute to give and they are little and adorable. No, an animal it's for life.
I have 3 cats and 2 dogs. I adopt last week a little puppy because Prince was depressed to be alone. But I know I can have. It gives work, you spend money with food and health, and you have to have patience to teach him what it's right and wrong. You might loose you favorite shoe or rug because we will think it's funny to chew, but that's life. If you can do that with a children, you can do that with an animal. And that's the limit where a lot of people don't get it. Animal it's an animal. That's a fact, they have instincts and they cannot be humanized. But still, they feel, they have needs. And that's what we need to pay attention and give. It gives work, I say again. I'm not saying it's not easy. No, it's easy, it depends on your organization skills for time and money. But in the end you will gain a love and a experience that you will have in no other place. And happiness it's something that's always worth it!
Since I was little I had animals. I was asthmatic, so the doctors said "No contact with animals." But my mom it's a veterinary nurse, so with the time I probably coulnd't be near to her. So she made exactly the opposite, the more contact has possible! I had rabbits, cats, dogs, hamster, birds. Everything! And I have so many happy memories, so many, something that it's so treasure to me and nothing could give better memories. Right now I have 3 cats : Sam, Tom and Quinas, and two dogs : Prince and the little one, Tuk ( I spelled it wrong last post). There are days that they make me mad and crazy, but then one of them lick me, and other purr to me and we are all fine. They give hapinnes to a home, and warm. They make your life better.
Still, if you are about to adopt/buy a animal you have to think through a lot of thinks. Here are some points I think are important:
- Time : Do you think you will have time to be with the animal? Some animals don't need so many time like reptiles, fishes, others need more time like cats and dogs. Either way, you will have to change a bit your rotine, to do what it will be needed to change like litterbox, terrariums, clean the food/water bowls, fur on the grown and groom them. You have to be mentalized on that, if you think that's fine so let's get to the other point.
- Money : Animals, will make you spent some money, on material, food, health, etc. You will need to be in mind on that, and that you can give everything that it's basic to him. Reptiles for example, they won't make spent a lot of time but will make you spent a lot of money on aquarium, lights, heaters, food. Dogs and cat, don't need so many money on material to use but on food and health. Specially health but that's needed. And of course some bumps on the road will happen like diseases or some broken leg. I know so many stories of dogs and cats that were sick or run over, and the owners that were more poor were the ones that make all the sacrifices to pay the operation/medication. The richers were the ones that said to kill the animal. That's just sad.....On the hospital were my mother works, they have a resident cat named Tico that only have 3 legs, because the owner said "If my cat don't come to my home back again with 4 legs, you can kill him". So they made the operation and adopted the cat.
- Patience : Little puppys and kittens are just like children when they start to walk. They are curious, they are exploring the world specially the new home and they have little teeths that are growing. So they have to experiment a lot of things on their mouth or on their nails.... Plus, pees and poops on the wrong sites, and flowers detroyed. Breath deep, correct them and go ahead.
- Teach : Teaching it's important, and this is more a happening where you will need the last skills but still it's important to mention because an animal that don't have the minimal education it will be hard to take care of when it's adult. You have to see, a dog or a cat will live at least for 8,9 years. So think right, spent some time, and use the best methods you think are to that animal to teach him.
- Space : Now this is a detail that a lot of people forget sometimes. Dogs in apartament that's ok, but not to big and giant breeds. That's just wrong because are animals that need a lot of space to run and be layed. Cats for example, they will need space too have their littlebox in a place that it will not disturb the smells, and they need to have the food in a another place (due to it's natural behaviour cat's don't like food in the place where they have their littlerbox, like they love water separated from food, that's why they drink from other places then from their water bowl) and they like their beds in our social places like the living-room.
- Other animals : If you already have another animal, you have to know him very well to see if he will accept another animals. Some dogs for example don't accept other dogs. Before you adopt/buy other animal try to socialized your dog with other animals to see how he will respond.
- Sacrifice : For me an animal it's like family once you have adopt him into your family. When for some reason you cannot have because you are going to emigrate or you just don't have more conditions to have him don't abandon him or leave him in a dog pound. Get a owner to him, the best it's someone that know's you and the dog. But try to get someone to him, because they trully have feelings and they are not dispensable whenever you are done with them. They have needs that most of them are created by us humans, that by the society development turn the pets dependent on us and dificult to let them be on the natural world. So be responsable, and take good care.
I think I have speaked the main points that you need to focus when you will adopt/ buy a animal. I focused more one cats and dogs because that's the ones that I have more experience and that are more abandoned. Yet, there is another IMPORTANT issue : reptiles and amphibians, if you don't want them any more, don't free them in the nature on a lake or somewhere else. They are normally species that don't are native to your area, and that can turn into a invasive species like it happen here in Portugal with the Florida Turtle (Trachemys scripta). Go to a pet shop near to you, they will accept them again. Make a favour to your ecossystem!