North Country SPCA 11-20-2010

I have found at times that visiting the local animal shelter in search of a new family member can be a bit... overwhelming. You are greeted by the cacophonous din of excited canine voices of all tones and volume, punctuated by the occasional "meow" of feline requesting your attention. Hopeful, bright-eyed faces greet you as you pass the line of cages, each eager to catch your eye. Then, there are the few pets who curl up in the far corner of their cage, their shyness pulling at your heartstrings. Where to start? How to choose? Here are a few tips to help you decide.

Prior to visiting the shelter, a family discussion is a must. If you have children under the age of seven in your household, a puppy under 5 months old and/or "toy sized" is not the best choice. A nervous puppy may nip with its sharp milk teeth or scratch without understanding the impact of its behavior. Smaller dogs are more fragile and easily broken by overeager children. The same is true of kittens. If there are elderly members in the home, a large, vigorous dog may also be something you want to avoid. Who will be the primary caretaker of the pet? Whomever that is likely to be should have significant say in the choice of an animal. What are your living arrangements? A studio apartment may be a perfect environment for a cat or small dog, but a larger dog may be too constrained. How much care/attention with the pet need? A family in which members are very busy and cannot devote a lot of one-on-one time to a pet would better support a dog or cat that requires less attention than a young puppy or highly energetic dog.

Our featured pet today is Mandy, a beautiful Domestic Shorthair-mix with exquisite tabby markings and golden eyes. This demure young lady is slightly shy, but will warm up to you with a gentle touch and soothing words. She has excellent manners; this sweet feline is gentle and content to find a warm place to lie down and watch the world go by. If you are looking for a quiet, calm family member who will be a loyal friend, Mandy is the cat for you. Why not come down and meet her today?

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