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Too many pets making life crazy


Q. I am not sure if you can answer this but my life has become crazy because I just can't stand to see dogs and cats abandoned.

We now have 3 dogs and 6 cats that we have taken in and, as you can imagine, it has become crowded, expensive and overwhelming. But I can't imagine turning them away to be "put to sleep" at the pound. Any suggestions would be appreciated.

Reply: Thank you for your concern about these poor strays-it is indeed a heartbreaking situation.

There are several "no kill" facilities in the area that were recommended by the two experts I checked with: Suzanne Hively, animal columnist of the Plain Dealer, and MaryAnn Friedlander, owner of Kitty Companion, a local pet services company.

They suggested that before going, you call the facility to be sure they accept drop-offs, and animals from other cities. You can also go to www.saveourstrays.com

  • The Geauga County Humane Society-priority is for Geauga County animals
  • Greater Akron Humane Society
  • Shaker Heights Human Society
  • Bide-A-Wee-for cats only, has a 6 to 8 month waiting list for any cats to enter
  • Medina county is in the process of starting a no kill shelter. You can contact Dorthiea Preston at p.o. box 1584 in Medina.
In addition, Ms. Hively recommends checking with rescue groups. Says she: "Each breed has its devotees and benefactors who spend all of their spare time finding good permanent homes for dogs no longer in their original homes."

These individuals will bend over backwards to place needy animals, sometimes even out of state. Though purebreds have a much better shot at being adopted than the mixed breeds, it is worth the effort.

Regarding your home, know that you can develop good habits that will keep you organized. Try these suggestions:

1. Create two separate feeding areas, one for the cats, one for the dogs. Keep the food bags near the dishes, if possible, to minimize the back and forth at feeding time. If the animals gnaw through the back, transfer the food to plastic storage boxes with locking lids to keep them out.

2. Try to feed your animals at the same times each day so you can develop a consistent routine. Use this time to clean up the spills that occur so you are not mopping up all day long. Also use this time to freshen and refill water containers. Keeping placemats under the dishes may simplify clean up for you, and also prevents the dogs from pushing their food containers all over the house.

3. Store your cat supplies in one spot, your dog supplies in another. You can buy inexpensive and durable plastic containers at your corner discounter.

4. Make sure your vet maintains copies of the health care records; it does not hurt for you to have copies as well. It is critical to have your animals spayed, neutered and vaccinated on a timely basis. This can be expensive, so if you are avoiding these procedures because of cost, the animals are better off being placed in a no kill shelter until they are adopted.



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