Monday, February 20, 2012

What a child brings to animal shelters

There have been many people who have written on the subject of kids and pets. I grew up around pets, especially dogs and have never been without one in my life. I was taught at an early age how to act around dogs and cats, how to respect them, how to approach strange animals and when to back off. My parents gave me that educational tool for which I am grateful.
There are many children today who have never been exposed to animals in any way. I believe some parents have so overprotected their children that by the time they are grown, they have no understanding of what owning a pet means so they, in turn, never expose their children to animals. Puppies and kittens belong with children. When you see a young child, rolling around on the ground surrounded by puppies who are jumping and licking a child while the child is rolling and laughing, a smile pops up on your face.
The problem in today's society is the irresponsibility of parents and dog owners. Dog owners don't teach their dogs about children and parents don't teach their children about pets.
Children being involved in animal shelters bring a while new segment of people to shelters. If educational programs are begun at shelters to teach children about pets, expose them to appropriate ones and allow them to experience the joys of puppy kisses and kitten purrs, you have a whole generation coming up who will continue to support shelters and the adoption of animals.
When you see a young child who is having a birthday, ask for donations for the local shelter instead of presents for themselves and then bring those donations in to the dogs and cats, you know you are making a supporter for life.
The children may find the perfect pet for their family or tell another friend about a perfect pet for their household.
I know there are some animals who have never been exposed to children and would not do well in a household with children. That is the reality. But there are just as many dogs and cats who have lived in a household with children and would flourish if put back into that kind of household.
Please don't discount households with children. Not only can dogs and cats be taught manners around humans, children can be taught the same.
When we do not allow households with children to adopt shelter pets, we lose a whole bunch of potential adopters and penalize our animals to a longer stay in a shelter.

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