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Thank you for thinking about adopting one of our wonderful animals. The first thing you need to do is complete our adoption application. We do not charge an adoption fee, although a donation is happily accepted. Our goal is to give a cat or dog a chance to belong to a family who thinks of him or her as a full-fledged family member, who needs a lifetime of love, care and attention. Remember, if for some reason this new member does not fit in, he or she must to be returned to us.
Like a new baby, there will have to be adjustment time. Because most of our animals are older, your pet probably will not keep you awake at night, wanting to be bottle fed, and you won’t have to change diapers. Since your pet has been at Charley’s Strays, probably for some time, it may not be housebroken. Instead of a dirty diaper you may have to clean up spots on the floor. This can take a while, but most dogs are very smart and are willing to learn. Striking him or her will not do the trick, but a strict schedule taking him out will do it, with lots of praise when he does his business outside!
If you had a cat or a dog before, most likely you will know all about the following information, if not, this may help you:
Although most dogs are hardy enough to sleep out of doors in a well-built, well-furnished and weatherproof kennel, many dogs live in doors and sleep in a basket or softly padded pet bed.
Dogs require a properly balanced diet for health. Their diet should contain:
Protein to build the body
Fats for skin and coat health
Carbohydrates for energy
Minerals and vitamins are for good bone development and healthy tissues.
Roughage is essential for bowel function.
The easiest and most economical balanced diet is a mixture of meat (raw, cooked or canned) and dry food.
Dogs should have ready access to a plentiful supply of clean, fresh water, particularly when dry food is used.
Socialization and early training are essential. Dog owners must teach their pets the rules of acceptable social behavior and conduct training, which is based on kindness and positive reinforcement.
Digging holes in the garden, wrecking plants and pulling clothes off the line are all symptoms of frustrated and bored dogs. Dogs need an outlet for their energy and this comes with exercise and play.
If you are away from your home for any extended period of time you must make arrangements for the care of your dog or cat. It is recommended that you place your dog in a boarding kennel where you are confident the dog will be securely kept and properly cared for. A good boarding kennel will only accept dogs, which have been properly vaccinated and will require proof of vaccination.
A healthy dog should display the following signs of health:
Demeanor: alert, and quickly responsive to sounds and calls
Movement: good stamina in youth, deteriorating with age, no lameness
Appetite: enthusiastic for food, eating fast, no vomiting
Ears: alert to slightest sound, no discharge or irritation
Eyes: clear with no discharge or inflammation
Nose: cold and damp when outdoors, dry and warm when indoors, no persistent discharge
If your dog appears unwell, has lost its appetite or is unresponsive and lacking energy, consult your veterinarian immediately.
Canine distemper, canine infectious hepatitis and canine parvovirus are three viral diseases of dogs, which are potentially fatal. Vaccination against the diseases is not mandatory, but should be done. A vaccine is available against kennel cough, an upper respiratory infection of dogs. Rabies vaccination is a must. In Maine it has to be repeated every three years.
Tapeworms, hookworms and whipworms can also infect dogs, while heartworm is a major problem for dogs. There are preventive treatments, your vet knows all about these ailments.
Fleas are a common external parasite associated with dogs. There are now many options available. What really works great for our dogs is a liquid in a tiny bottle; half will be put on their neck, the other half on the top of the tail. It works for at least 30 days.
The only accommodation a cat really needs in the house is a good bed which may be any comfortable chair, box or basket.
Cats require a high protein and high fat diet. Cats often become fussy eaters, which leads to diet deficiency diseases.
The rules are:
Choose a complete diet, with variety
Feed little and often
Don’t leave excess food in bowl
See that bowls are scrupulously clean
Do not feed liver as a major dietary component as it may causes skeletal problems
Do not feed raw meat as the sole diet for the same reason
Do not feed dog food to a cat
Most canned cat food is specially prepared with added vitamins and minerals. Feeding dried foods require access to drinking water at all times, without which the cat may develop a urinary tract problem.
Milk should be avoided as milk lactose is indigestible and may lead to diarrhea.
Cats use their claws for climbing and for defense and usually keep them in immaculate condition. It is best to provide a scratching post or cat tree. The most interesting scratching posts are those which have different kinds of surfaces.
Cats are the most fastidious of animals and are easily housetrained to use a litter box. Its placement is very important. It should be in a place where your cat can get to without difficulty and where you can get to it easily to scoop and clean. Most cats do not like to be exposed while using a litter box, and some can be quite shy and require privacy. An easy to reach but discreet corner is often the best option. Cats are creatures of habit and dislike change. Once your cat is used to the location of the litter box, changing it can be difficult.
A healthy cat should display the following:
Demeanor: watchful, even at rest, quickly responsive to sounds, quiet and contented
Movement free and agile, no lameness
Appetite good, no vomiting
Breathing even and quiet with no coughing
Ears pricked to catch sound, no discharge or irritation
Eyes clear, no discharge or inflammation
Cats and kittens can become ill quite rapidly. This is usually characterized by lethargy and failure to eat or drink. If your cats appear unwell for any reason, consult your veterinarian immediately.
Kitten roundworms are not infective to humans; nonetheless your cat requires regular worming. Tapeworms can also infect cats.
Please consult your veterinarian.