Adoption

  • WHY ADOPT Open or Close

    Having a pet is a wonderful experience benefiting both humans and animals. Research indicates that pets can reduce stress, increase activity, provide companionship, reduce loneliness, and provide a sense of fulfillment as well as many other health benefits.

    Pets can be acquired in a variety of ways, but adopting is an extremely rewarding way. Nothing is more satisfying than providing a permanent home for a homeless animal. Homeless animals are not substandard, defective or less-than. They are loving animals who've been dealt a less than perfect life.

    Please don't purchase or breed while there are homeless pets.

  • ADOPTING Open or Close

    Frequently animals become homeless through abuse or becoming a “throw-away” pet. However, life circumstances of a pet parent, such as new but permanent health issues, terminal illness or even death, can also leave a pet homeless. Regardless of how they arrive, we're here to help them find a new home with a loving family. We greatly appreciate your interest in adopting a homeless pet. If you are interested in adopting, please contact us for information. We'd love to answer your questions and help you select a pet. We do not ship pets. Contact us by calling Dale at 618-392-2699 or email smithdale1601@gmail.com 

     

    Please don't purchase or breed while there are homeless pets.

  • OUR ADOPTION PROCESS Open or Close

    Many factors must be considered during the adoption process. While you may look through the pets available for adoption and think you've fallen in love with one based on its photo, that pet may not be suitable to your lifestyle. Placing a timid pet or one who previously lived in a single person household, into a multiple member family with young, energetic children may not be the best choice.

    Our goal is to match an individual or a family with a pet who will fit well so both human and pet needs are fulfilled. Through personal interviews, question and answer sessions, observation of interactions with the animal, and experienced evaluations, we will make our recommendations.

    All adoptions require at least one home check and a trial placement.

    During the trial placement, observations will be made to determine how the pet reacts to its potential permanent surroundings. It is a time for you to evaluate what modifications need to be made for the difference in lifestyle as a result of adding a new pet to the household.

     

     Please don't purchase or breed while there are homeless pets.

  • BRINGING HOME YOUR NEW CAT Open or Close

    You've made your decision. You're adopting a cat! Bringing home your new kitty is exciting. You're looking forward to cuddling, to lap naps while reading or watching TV, and to laughing during playtime activities. There are a few things you need to do before your new family member moves in. The list below will help you get organized for the big day!

     

    1. Ask the shelter personnel, how your cat came to be at the shelter. Your new cat's past experiences will play a monumental role in assimilating it into your family. For example, a young kitten that was abandoned alongside the road with its litter mates and mother will have different needs and expectations than an older cat who has spent many months foraging for food and avoiding predators. Their needs are different. The transition necessitates being handled accordingly. Your friends at the shelter will be happy to share the story as they know it, answer any questions you have, and make good recommendations toward a smooth homecoming.

    2. Have your litter box(es) on hand before kitty arrives home. There are many styles from which to choose, i.e., standard open, covered, self-cleaning, disposable. Have the box already placed where you want it to remain. Moving it around will confuse your cat. Place it in a quiet, private space.

    Determine whether your new cat is litter box trained. Ask what litter is being used. Sometimes changing the texture or feel of the cat litter can cause a cat not to use the box even if he/she is house-trained. Initially, you should use the same litter. If your cat is still learning, be prepared to continue his training. Ask the shelter personnel how they are training the cat. You will want to continue with the same method to maintain continuity in the training. The cat needs to know what is expected of it.

    Once your cat has settled into its new home, you can change litter forms if you prefer. The change should be made gradually by mixing a small amount of the new style with the old style. Gradually increase the ratio of the new litter to the old until you are using only the new. Watch your cat during this change over to be sure it is continuing to use the box. Look for places the cat might hide its business, like under a bed, in a closet, in the laundry, or in a corner. Keep your litter box clean. One reason for a litter trained cat not use its box is an unclean box. If you have more than one cat, you will need more than one box. Some behaviorists say even one cat needs multiple boxes in different areas of the home.

    3. Purchase the food and water dishes and have them in place in the feeding area you plan to use permanently. Some people like a small mat under the bowls. They think it makes clean up easier. Consider whether you prefer to have your kitty's bowls in a small elevated stand. Many manufacturers have fun sets available. Some people prefer an elevated bowl because it raises the food and water to what they consider a more comfortable height for consumption.

    4. Many cats enjoy having a small round bed with sides for napping. It can give a cat a comforting snuggle. Other cats prefer a flat open pad so they don't feel restricted. Ask what type your new kitty enjoyed at the shelter. You may like to buy an inexpensive bed in each configuration and let your cat decide for himself. Later you can phase in a good quality bed that pampers his preference. Maybe he will enjoy both, the sided bed when he feels like a snuggle and the flat when he wants to stretch out full length.

    If you can, it is a good idea to take Kitty's bed to the shelter for a few days prior to bringing him home. Ask the shelter personnel if there is room in Kitty's kennel for his bed. As he uses the bed, his scent will transfer making it “his own”. When you bring them both home, he will feel more reassured and comfortable.

    5. Have a variety of toys on hand for playtime. Check with the shelter to determine what types of toys Kitty has enjoyed with them. Generally, a kitten or cat will enjoy balls or small toys like stuffed mice to knock around. A good interactive toy is a small, soft toy tied by string to the end of a pole. This toy is fun for the playtime between human and cat. This interactive play time serves multiple purposes. It exercises the cat, increases the human-animal bond, and works off excess energy which unrelieved can result in bad behavior. Spend some time in the cat section of your local pet store examining the types of toys available and make a varied selection. Life enrichment experiences will mean the difference between a companion cat and the cat from Hades. As your new cat's human companion, it is your responsibility to provide a rich environment. That doesn't equate to an expensive environment. An inexpensive ball to bat or a sock tied in a knot dragged on the floor will serve the same purpose as expensive alternatives.

     

     

     Cats fall into one of two categories when it comes to dwelling habits. They will either be a tree dweller or a ground dweller. Some prefer to hunker down, hide among the “weeds” and jump out at unsuspecting passersby. Others prefer to climb high and survey the world from their throne of safety in the clouds. Watch your cat's behavior to determine which lifestyle he likes. For the ground dweller, boxed-in kitty condos that sit on or low to the floor are good. You could even attach strips of fabric to the front opening so Kitty is obscured during his observation of his world. For tree dwellers, a raised cat tower/tree will be a good selection. Most cats will enjoy a window seat where they can look out. Just make sure it attaches securely so he doesn't get dumped on the floor and scared or injured.

    6. Have a supply of the same cat/kitten food the shelter was feeding your new pet. Bringing your cat into new surroundings is stressful to him and can cause an upset stomach or intestinal tract which can result in diarrhea or vomiting. This is not a time to switch to a new food. You can gradually change foods after 6 to 8 weeks. Don't switch in a single meal. Instead, add a small amount of the new food to the old food. Over time increase the amount of new and reduce the amount of the old food. Monitor your cat's stool for indication that the new diet is not being accepted. Other indications the new diet is not acceptable would be weight loss or a change in activity levels. A previously active cat who suddenly becomes lethargic after the food change may be having trouble adapting or not getting proper nutrients. If this continues, discontinue the new food and be sure to see your veterinarian as the cause may not be the food at all.

    7. Purchase a pet carrier for transporting your cat. You will need this to bring Kitty home from the shelter and for transporting Kitty to your veterinarian. A carrier is not an option; it is a safety requirement. Allowing your cat to be loose in the car is highly dangerous.

    8. When you arrive home, place your new kitty in a quiet area and open the door of the carrier. Allow Kitty to come out himself when he begins to feel comfortable. This will happen sooner if he is placed in an area where there is not a lot of excitement. Doing this requires a lot of self-control. It is natural for us to want to grab Kitty and pet him and haul him around the house. However, as his new guardian, we must put his needs before ours. So, place him in the quiet area, open the carrier door and wait for him to join you. It's okay to sit quietly on the floor, speaking in a calm, reassuring voice. If after a half hour or so, he's still reluctant to join you, place a small kitty treat on the floor a few inches in front of the carrier. A soft treat will usually have more odor and be more successful at drawing him out than a dry treat. Once he's left the carrier, don't rush over and slam the door shut so you've got him on your side, and he can't get back in. Let him have the reassurance that he can retreat to the carrier if he feels frightened. Likely, once he's out and enjoying a treat that you are offering, he'll feel sufficiently rewarded to be brave enough to investigate your lap. Of course, you can by-pass all this and lift Kitty out of the top of the carrier and hold him tightly in your arms, but don't blame me when you get clawed! Expedience is not always the best way.

    9. Once your new kitty has come out and become comfortable with your affection, it is a good time to introduce him to his litter boxes. After that, stand back and give him time to explore his new surroundings. If there are other pets in the home, they should be placed in an area away from the new kitty until your new family member has a chance to acquaint himself with his new home. Once he seems settled, introductions can be made slowly. For their safety, keep children away from the area during the introduction. Stand nearby and be ready to respond as needed.

    After your kitty has had about an hour of exposure to his new home, he may be ready for a nap or quiet time alone. This time has been stressful whether it appears so to you or not. Place him in the sleep area you have chosen and close the door or remove all people, pets and activity. When he awakes and looks to rejoin the family, calmly assure him and pet him. This would also be a good time to show him the litter box again. Praise him when he uses it. If you are continuing to use the same litter he used at the shelter, he will recognize the odor and its purpose. During the next few days, you will want to show him the box multiple times, praise him for use, watch for any signs he's not using the box, monitor the consistency of the stool, and/or continue litter box training if Kitty's training was not completed prior to leaving the shelter. Remember that accidents will happen during this transition period.

    10. During the first few days a family has their new cat, everyone will be happy to play with him. As the newness and excitement wear off, the play time lessens. Therefore, before the new pet joins the family, it is imperative that everyone understands their duty. In order to live a rich life, exercise and playtime are a requirement whether we feel like doing it or not. In addition to providing the animal with a healthy life and mind, this time strengthens the human-animal bond which is mutually beneficial.

    11. A wellness checkup with the veterinarian you have chosen is a must to have within the first week or so of bringing your new cat home. Your vet will want to make sure your pet is healthy, obtain your cat's vaccination record, note the microchip number for your cat in his files, and answer any questions you have about care and routine for your new family member. He/she will advise you of ongoing care such as booster vaccinations, flea prevention, growth expectation, weight maintenance, exercise, and diet recommendations so you and your pet can have a long life together. Your veterinarian will become your go-to person for any questions you will have about your pet.

     

    12. During the weeks that follow, you will also want to acquaint your pet with the person who will be your pet's caretaker when you have to be away from home. Don't let the introduction to this caretaker wait until you need the caretaker. The day you have to go out of town for business is not the time to take your cat and dump him in strange surroundings and expect him to be fine. Just as he needed acclimation to your home, he needs to familiarize himself with any temporary caretaker and surroundings. It is important for him to know and trust the person who will provide that care. Discuss your pets routine and specific needs with the caretaker and have him/her make notes to have ready during future visits.

    REMEMBER, your friends at the shelter are also there to help you even after you take your pet home. They are just a phone call away to offer information about how your pet acted at the shelter, things that made it happy, things that scared it, things it loved to do, how well it ate or any number of questions about your specific pet. While generalizations will help us in most any situation, nothing beats knowing specifics about a a pet.

    For pets adopted from the Humane Society of Olney, Dale's Pet Care can provide excellent temporary care at affordable prices. Best of all, your pet already knows these surroundings and the care takers who are the same people that provided loving care for him during his time at the shelter. Call Dale Smith at 618-395-2067 to discuss future care for your new family member and any pets you already have.

     

    Please don't purchase or breed while there are homeless pets.

  • BRINGING HOME YOUR NEW DOG Open or Close

    One of the most important things you can learn prior to bringing your pet home is how the pet came to be at the shelter. Your new pet's past experiences will play a monumental role in assimilating your new pet into your family. For example, a dog that was abandoned alongside the road will have different needs and expectations than a dog who arrived at the shelter because of the death of a companion human of many years. You'll want to consider whether the pet has spent a few days without meals and shelter or whether it is in a state of mourning the loss of a beloved human. The needs are different and need to be handled accordingly. Your friends at the shelter will be happy to share the story as they know it and to answer any questions you have.

    Once you've made your choice to adopt a dog, you are excited. You have a new family member! You're looking forward to fun times. On the much awaited day, you go home together. Now what?

    Your first thoughts will likely be to pet and play and feed treats – all the things you think you'll both enjoy. This is the time to stop, pause and proceed slowly. Consider things from your new pet's position. He is coming into a new location. It is natural for him to be a little apprehensive. Hopefully, you've been able to have a few in home visits prior to this, but if not, don't worry. Here are some steps to make a smoother transition for everyone. (If you already have other pets, please leave them in a separate room until your new dog has a chance to tour his new home. Introductions can be made later.)

    1. Upon arriving home, while he is still outside with his leash and harness on, let him relieve himself. Be patient. It may not happen immediately. He will want to smell who has been there before him and find what he considers just the right place to go. Once he has, bring him inside.         

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        

    2. When you bring your new dog inside, he will want to investigate by wandering and sniffing everything in sight. Allow him to acquaint himself with the new surroundings and the smells of the people and any pets already in your home.  Sit or stand calmly nearby while he does this. Keep a calm, low pitched voice and encourage him. If he's a high-strung dog or a puppy, watch for a signal that he may be getting ready to piddle. Sometimes the excitement of new people and new surroundings will be too stimulating for even a grown, house-trained pet, and they will leak on the floor. If you can catch him before it happens, quickly move him to the area you want him to use all the time, i.e., piddle pad or outside. If you aren't quick enough, and he does urinate, do not scold him for it. This was an accident.

    3. After a while, you will be able to observe that he feels more comfortable. He'll slow from the scurrying and sniffing. He'll start becoming more interested in you as you talk to him. Pet him for encouragement when he comes to you. If he's a lap dog, you can bring him onto your lap, quietly talking and petting until he calms down. The time it takes to reach the relaxation point will vary by the dog. It may be as quickly as half an hour or as long as an hour. Some breeds are naturally more hyper than others and require a longer calming period. Beyond the breed characteristics are the individual dog's personality and needs.

    Conversely, your new dog may enter your home and be so intimidated that he lies on the floor or looks for a place to hide. He may even tremble. Sit quietly on the floor beside him, speak in a calm voice, pet him slowly, and reassure him that all is well. After he exhibits more confidence, encourage him to become acquainted with his surroundings. Understand that he may not be interested in that at this stage. As such, it may be a good time just to pet him.

    After an hour to an hour and a half, it will likely be time for a nap. This was a very exciting time and drained a lot of energy. Take him outside to relieve himself. Don't use this time as a play time. You want him to learn why he is there – to take care of business.

    4. Once he finished business, let him have his nap time in whatever area you will want him to nap regularly. If you don't intend to let him on the couch, don't put him there now. If you want him to sleep in his own bed on the floor, place him there and sit quietly on the floor beside him. Slowly pet him and speak in a low pitched, calming voice. Soon he will lay his head down and sleep. If you intend for him to sleep in a doggie den (aka kennel), follow the same procedure. I suggest leaving the door of the den open so he knows there is an exit, and he's free to come and go.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          

    5. After your dog wakes from his rest, immediately take him outside to allow him an opportunity to relieve himself. Once he's done it and you've praised him, you can transition into play time inside or outside. Play with toys or take him for a walk or toss a ball outside. Older dogs will want different play than a puppy. Keep in mind the age of your dog, the breed traits, and your dog's personal requirements. The first few days a family has with their new dog, everyone will be happy to play and exercise with him. As the newness and excitement wear off, the play time lessens. Therefore, before the new pet joins the family, it is imperative that everyone understands their duty. In order to live a rich life, exercise and playtime are a requirement whether we feel like doing it or not. In addition to providing the animal with a healthy life and mind, this time strengthens the human-animal bond which is mutually beneficial.

     

    6. Mealtime is best when planned. It is a good idea to have a calm period before dinner. Allow your pet free time to relax and calm itself before eating. Just as you would not want to rush in after playing baseball and immediately engorge your stomach with a meal, neither is it a good idea for your dog to be involved in a hyper activity just before its meal.

     

     

    Ideally, you have determined the number of times per day your dog needs to be fed, how much it needs to be fed and which food needs to be fed. When a dog/puppy comes to a new environment is not the time to change its food or food routine. A highly sensitive dog especially may get an upset stomach resulting in indigestion and vomiting – something neither of you want to experience. Therefore, check with the shelter to see what they were feeding and their schedule. For the first few weeks, stick to the same diet and eating time. If you need to change the time to coincide with your schedule, you can slowly adjust after 6-8 weeks. Begin by gradually moving toward the time best for the family schedule. For instance, if you have been maintaining the shelter schedule of evening feeding at 6:30 pm, but your family schedule means a 6 pm feeding is preferred, adjust the time by moving toward the 6 pm feed in 5-10 minute increments weekly until you reach the preferred schedule. Eventually you will not need to worry so much about this as the pet will not die if you feed it early, or consequently late. The goal is not to upset the intestinal tract of your pet during its settling in phase, causing both of you problems.

    7. Bedtime can be a scary time for your new pet. Even in a shelter, it is used to having certain pets or people around it. In its new home, none of those things will be there. It's a good idea to have a calm period before anticipated bedtime. Just before retirement, take the pet to relieve itself. Do this in the same place you will expect your pet to use daily. Don't start with a potty pad it you want your pet to go outside nightly. It is much easier on all if you start with what you expect for the duration instead of starting one way and then trying to retrain to another.

    Just as a child might be uncomfortable in a strange place and reflect that by whining, so a pet can be - whether it is a puppy or an older pet. It is a good idea to prepare for this in advance by taking a small blanket like a receiving blanket, a toy, or a small bed to the shelter a week or so before bringing your new dog home. The shelter can place the item in the pet's personal area so that the item takes on the scent of the pet and the pet becomes familiar with the item. Then, bring your dog and the special item home at the same time. At bedtime, put the item with the pet to give the pet a sense of familiarity and safety. Even doing this is sometimes not sufficient to keep a new pet from crying during the first few nights in a new place. I recommend handling this distress in a manner similar to how you would handle a small child having the same experience. Quietly wait a few minutes for the pet to fall asleep on its own. If this isn't successful, go to the pet and in a firm but soothing voice and gentle petting assure the pet that all is well. Yelling in a loud voice for it to shut up will do nothing more than upset you and the pet. After the pet has calmed and laid down its head, continue petting for a few moments, then return to your bed. If the dog awakens again during the night, listen quietly to see if it will fall back to sleep. If it doesn't, call to it in a firm, but gentle voice for reassurance. Hopefully, this will be enough for the dog to fall back to sleep. Keep in mind that how you handle your first nights with your new dog can set an expectation in the pet's mind also. Just as a new baby can learn that if I cry, Momma comes running, a new dog can learn to expect and command similarly. As with a child, you will learn how to handle every situation. Firstly, make sure the pet is ok, give reassurance, then set expectations by your actions. Experience is a great teacher.

     

    8. A wellness checkup with the veterinarian you have chosen is a must to have within the first week after bringing your new dog home. Your vet will want to make sure your dog is healthy, obtain your dog's vaccination record , note the microchip number for your pet in his files, and answer any questions you have about care and routine for your new family member. He/she will advise you of ongoing care such as booster vaccinations, heartworm prevention, growth expectation, weight maintenance, exercise, and diet recommendations so you and your pet can have a long life together. Your veterinarian will become your go-to person for any questions you will have about your pet.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            

    9. During the weeks that follow, you will also want to acquaint your pet with the person who will be your pet's caregiver when you have to be away from home. Don't let the introduction to this caregiver wait until you need the caregiver. The day you have to go out of town for business is not the time to take your dog and dump him in strange surroundings and expect him to be fine. Just as he needed acclimation to your home, he needs to familiarize himself with any temporary caretaker and surroundings. It is important for him to know and trust the person who will provide that care. Discuss your pets routine and specific needs with the caretaker and have him/her make notes to have ready during future visits

     

    REMEMBER, your friends at the shelter are also there to help you even after you take your pet home. They are just a phone call away to offer information about how your pet acted at the shelter, things that made it happy, things that scared it, things it loved to do, how well it ate or any number of questions about your specific pet. While generalizations will help us in most any situation, nothing beats knowing specifics about a a pet.

     

    For pets adopted from the Humane Society of Olney, Dale's Pet Care can provide excellent temporary care at affordable prices. Best of all, your pet already knows these surroundings, and the people are the same ones who provided the loving care for him during his time at the shelter. Call Dale Smith at 618-395-2067 to discuss future care for your new family member and any pets you already have.

     

     Please don't purchase or breed while there are homeless pets.

     

  • ADOPTION FEES Open or Close

    Sometimes people wonder why there is a fee to adopt a homeless pet. The truth is it costs a lot of money to shelter, feed, provide medical exams, medicines, immunizations and other things to the animals. Your adoption fee is just an offset toward those expenses. It also helps defer the expenses of the next incoming homeless animal.

    Our adoption fee is $30. Before a pet leaves the shelter, it must have all vaccinations, a heartworm test, be neutered or spayed, and be micro-chipped. The adoptive parent pays the fees for these services.

     

     Please don't purchase or breed while there are homeless pets.