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  1. #21
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    Quick note on pet insurance. In my job I brought in pet insurance as an option for our employees, so I've looked at all the major players. The best is VPI www.petinsurance.com They have several coverage levels, including a cancer rider that you can buy. And the best part is that it's good at any Vet, there's no network.

    However, they have a fair amount of restrictions and pre-existing conditions, so read the fine print.

    But the most important thing to know as this insurance is great for when an animal gets hurt or sick. Dogs can be like goats and will eat anything, which obviously can make them sick. This insurance covers that. Also if your animal gets out and gets hit by a car, or gets bit by a snake, it covers that too.

    Price varies alot, depending on the animal and the coverage level. Please note, they don't cover dogs older than 9 years old.

  2. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by danceronice View Post
    <snip>private groups that do adoptions often have more time to devote to getting to know each animal. <snip>
    Not always. When we adopted the above mentioned Marilee, the Humane Society required that we bring our two dogs to meet her, as well as my son. They also did a cat test on her by taking her into a room with a couple of dog freindly cats to see how she reacted. We were required to give them our vet's information and they called them to verify that all of our animals were up to date on their vaccinations.

    A few weeks after Marilee died, I found Shadow on Pet Finder. She was with a small rescue group. She and her sister were up for adoption, and they took first come, first served. We adopted Shadow, and a young family with two kids adopted her sister. This took place in less than 1/2 hour - they didn't ask for proof of vacinations or care of other pets. Unlike another small rescue that we adopted a dog from (our Humphrey), they didn't ask for a home visit.

    I often wonder how Shadow's sister is faring. These were 5 month old German Shepherds with zero socialization - they lived in an outdoor run. Shadow had never seen steps, heard a door closing, or set foot inside a house. As I have learned since adopting her, Shepherds need massive amounts of socialization as well as a good amount of training. We have worked with her since we got her on these two things, but she still is afraid of strangers and growls/grumbles even when people she knows come over. If the other adoptive family didn't understand this about Shadow's sister, she may have ended up back in a shelter/rescue.

  3. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by danceronice View Post
    Conversely, cats walk wherever they want-food-prep surfaces, furniture, the bathroom counter. Dogs who jump, grab food, run off with shoes, etc. are just badly trained, not typical. And cats scratch. The only way to prevent it is declawing, and that is arguably cruel (vets will disagree) and ONLY for indoor-only cats--declawed cats outdoors are missing major survival tools.
    That's not true either. I have two very well trained cats who do not jump on counter tops and wait by the entrance to the living room until they are invited in. They know where they are allowed to claw and where they are not. Cats who do these things are just badly trained, or not trained as all. I think many cat owners just don't care if their cats jump on counters or claw furniture, or assume it comes with the territory of owning a cat.

  4. #24
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    Thank you everyone for your wonderful suggestions!

    Finally got a chance to read through everything. And now I am leaning toward a cat for dad. My reason for a dog was because it was likely more people-oriented and I thought a little walk in the park could do both of them tons of good. But I am thinking as this is his first pet, low maintainance is more important.

    So a it is!

    So I will talk to Dad. (my dad is the sort of person who avoids making the final decision unless he is 200% sure). He has always been a cat lover so I expect no objection.

    Sounds like the easiest way to do it is just to visit a local shelter. So that's what we will do. (Is Humane society the same as a shelter? as you can see, we are pretty new to this) Anyone has any suggestions as to what to look for and what to watch out for before we set out? Any questions we need to ask the staff? Besides the obvious ones, cleanliness, friendliness, not aggressive, etc. I specially would like to know how to choose a healthy cat. I know there is no guarantee, but I will make an effort. I also would like to have the cat spayed or neutered and have all the shots done by the shelter. Is that standard, or something I have to ask? I don't mind paying a bit extra if that's what it comes to.

    I don't want to decide on getting a kitten, a young adult, or an older cat, or a girl or a boy. I think we will just leave it to the right cat to choose us. Who knows, we might even come back with a dog!

    Neither I or dad is an impulsive buyer so I doubt we will come back with an animal on our first visit. I will probably have more questions to ask though!


    TIA!

  5. #25

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    Quote Originally Posted by shiningstar View Post
    That's not true either. I have two very well trained cats who do not jump on counter tops and wait by the entrance to the living room until they are invited in. They know where they are allowed to claw and where they are not. Cats who do these things are just badly trained, or not trained as all. I think many cat owners just don't care if their cats jump on counters or claw furniture, or assume it comes with the territory of owning a cat.
    Absolutely no need to declaw a cat, IMO. We trim our cat's nails - the vet can show you how - and provide him with scratching posts, as well as training. Scratching has not been an issue.

    Training works. You absolutely can train a cat not to jump up on counters, if that's what you want to do.
    And so, dear Lord, it is with deep sadness that we turn over to you this young woman, whose dream to ride on a giant swan resulted in her death. Maybe it is your way of telling us... to buy American.

  6. #26

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    Quote Originally Posted by genegri View Post
    (Is Humane society the same as a shelter? as you can see, we are pretty new to this) Anyone has any suggestions as to what to look for and what to watch out for before we set out? Any questions we need to ask the staff? Besides the obvious ones, cleanliness, friendliness, not aggressive, etc. I specially would like to know how to choose a healthy cat. I know there is no guarantee, but I will make an effort. I also would like to have the cat spayed or neutered and have all the shots done by the shelter. Is that standard, or something I have to ask? I don't mind paying a bit extra if that's what it comes to.
    The Humane Society and the SPCA are nation-wide. They have shelters for animals and adopt out pets, and are also involved in legislation and policing pertinent to animals.

    There are many other shelters and rescue organizations but they tend to be location specific and tend to have a more narrow focus (i.e. just cats, just dogs, or a specific type of dog/cat breed). They are often involved in animal advocacy but don't have the legislative and enforcement power of the SPCA and the Humane Society.

    You can find a cat to adopt at many shelters/rescue organizations and I would guess the prices are similar. All routinely spay and neuter pets for adoption and have their pets checked by vets. They also routinely provide the necessary shots and deworming.

    I've heard that some rescue organizations can be extremely picky and difficult with regard to their adoption policies, so I'd recommend talking to a few of them about your reasons for adopting and health concerns. Then take a look at the available cats and spend some time with the ones that interest you - all places will want you to do that to ensure that you pick the cat that is right for you.

    And involving your dad in the decision is necessary. Associations that adopt out animals are unlikely to adopt out a pet which is meant to be a gift to a third party because often the intended owner doesn't want the pet and it goes back to the shelter immediately or eventually.

    Good luck. There are lot of cats available for adoption and needing homes - way more cats than dogs. And many cats are put to sleep because there is no way for shelters to accommodate the numbers.

  7. #27

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    Glad to hear you are starting off with a visit to the local shelter. Do they have a website, with pictures of adoptable animals? Our little girl Gidget first called out to me from her picture on the website. When we got there, sis wheeled Mom slowly by each kennel, and I went on ahead looking specifically for Gidget. She's a beautiful girl, and after going up an down many rows of kennels, I'd begun to assume she had already been snatched up. I finally went around the corner to find one more row of kennels, and there she was! I went back and got Mom, made her come see, and we arranged and meet/greet with Gidget to see how we took to each other. Gidget went right past me, ran over to Mom, jumped up on her lap and gave her a bunch of kisses. That sealed the deal. Mom said, "I want her." I figure she must have already known she'd snagged me by calling out to me over the Internet, so she knew she had to work on Mom to seal the deal.

    The shelter needed 24 hours to process her out, so I had to wait till the next day to bring her home. We got her just in time too. As we were standing there with her filling out the paperwork, a family came in, saw her and said "is that Kash (her name while she was at the shelter). So apparantly they had come in looking for her specifically too. I was scared to death they'd give her to someone else during that 24 hour wait. But they assured me she was already taken off the adoptable list.

    So really. Its all about what/who clicks at just the right time. We didn't rescue Gidget as much as she rescued us. Our last dear dog had passed just two weeks prior. And that two weeks with no dog in the house were two of the most miserable and excruciating weeks I ever endured.

  8. #28
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    Does he want a pet? Sometimes the best intentions can be the wrong decision.
    Without fear you cannot find courage

  9. #29
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