Adding a Four Legged Family Member?

Are you considering adopting a pet during this holiday season?


Sharon Roberts

Scout contemplating un decorating the Xmas tree.

Sharon Roberts, Adviser

A cute puppy with a big red bow is hard to resist.  Or a kitten with a, well, I have never been able to get a bow to stay on a kitten, but a kitten that cuddles up and purrs under your chin is a scene steal-er. But is your home ready for that present to grow, eat, require constant attention, and chew up your favorite shoe?  Cute gets old fast when it pees on your favorite sweater.  If a new pet is on the horizon for your home, please make a wise choice; there are many ways to make this a good decision for your family.

There are 100’s of kittens, puppies, as well as adult cats and dogs in shelters, waiting to find their forever homes.  Adopting from a shelter is a wonderful and responsible option for finding your new pet.  Animals that are placed for adoption at shelters have been vet checked, and provided care.  Most offer counseling to help you find the pet that is right for you.

Consider the age of your new pet:  Adopting a kitten or puppy will require time and energy.  They grow fast.  And during that 1st year it will be up to you to teach them how to live with you in your house.  Also, expect to spend $300 – $400 for shots, spay/neutering services and vet visits.  Remember they are growing, and they will eat. And the only manners they will know will be the ones you teach them.

Adopting a mature pet:  If you live in a busy household, or have small children around all the time, a mature pet may be a better choice.  A cat or dog, could come to your home and be just the right companion for you.  Expect some shyness from your new pet.  It can be traumatic for an animal that was raised in a family to find them self in a shelter.  So be patient with them.  Chances are they will adapt quicker than you expect.

Reminder:  Your house is not normal during the holiday season.  Its busy, and on a different time schedule.  If you’ve adopted a pet, and they don’t seem to be adapting very well, give it some time.  Let your house calm down, and get back into its normal routines.  Also during the holiday season, your house can be full of dangerous little obstacles for your new pet.  Chocolate and poinsettias are poisonous to dogs and cats, so keep them out of reach.  Chewing on light cords that are everywhere this time of year can cause you and your pet problems.  And watch those fireplaces, in general.

It’s heartbreaking to return a pet to a shelter.  Take some time and allow your new family member to settle in.  And before you know it, your little shadow will be your best friend.

Adopt don’t shop.

Citizen’s for Animal Protection, CAPS

Houston Humane Society,



Who’s our Cover Girl?  Our sweet cover girl is my little Scout.  How did I find her? I came home one night and could hear her yelping in my backyard.  I don’t know how she got there, whether somebody put her there, or she made her way, it’s a mystery.  I brought her in, she was in rough shape. She wouldn’t eat or drink, she couldn’t stop yelping.  Finally she crawled in my UGG boot and went to sleep.

Next day, I took her to my vet.  She barely weighed a pound.  There was indication that bad bad things had happened to her.  I asked Dr. Floyd if I should just put her down.  He said “Maybe, but she’s a fighter, so…” 

So I named her Scout, because she is brave.  She is perfect now. And she is the sweetest kitten I’ve ever seen.  Lucky we found her, and lucky she found us.

Now your turn.  Please share with us your family four legged member.  Tweet us a picture, and tell us, in 140 characters or less of course, about your pet.  Dogs, cats, ferrets, ponies.  All are welcome. 

Tweet to @whshowlernews or just use the twitter icon on the top left.

Buddy (left) and Riley (right) looking at the camera in Karolina Benitez's backyard.
Buddy (left) and Riley (right) looking at the camera in Karolina Benitez’s backyard.