THANK YOU for selecting a companion animal from the Calcasieu Parish Department of Animal Services & Adoption Center.
People who adopt pets here usually say that the best pets come from animal shelters! Did you know that many working dogs routinely come from shelters, and a number of animal "movie stars" have been shelter adoptions?
So why do we ask so many questions and have so much paperwork? It gives us the opportunity to review what is in the best interest of the animal and the possible new owners. Many Shelters require a 24 - 48 hour waiting period before adopted pets are placed after completion of the adoption agreement. We feel you need to have taken the time to do two important things.
- Think hard about the commitment you are about to make. In order to adopt, you must fill out a lengthy application. People have joked, "It's easier to adopt a child." We take pet adoption very seriously. We want the animals to go to happy, permanent homes. Because of this, we want to be sure that people know what they are doing and are willing to make a long-term commitment.
Your pet is going to require time and energy in feeding, walking, and grooming. Cats as well as dogs like attention from "their" people. Dogs may require training. Any pet may develop behavior problems and need some extra work. This is the reason many pets are surrendered from their original homes.
Your pet is going to cost money - food, litter, licenses, toys, training, boarding when you're away, bedding, shelter, maybe an outdoor enclosure, kenneling or fencing.
State law requires yearly rabies shots, given by a veterinarian. Several other shots for dogs and cats are recommended. Heartworm medication is also vital in this part of the country and the new treatments and medication to prevent fleas and ticks are really important.
Like any other member of the family, a companion animal will occasionally get sick or injured and need medical care. It can be expensive. We do our best to make sure that animals available for adoption are healthy. It will be up to you and your veterinarian to keep your pet healthy. (If an adopted animal gets sick or dies from a disease that it already had or was exposed to before it left the shelter, we will offer another animal or a refund for a limited time. This is the only time that we "replace" an animal. Most shelters never give refunds but we try to grant refunds if you have met all the conditions of adoption and the animal is returned or dies.
We aren't trying to scare you off! We just want to be sure that you have thought about the commitment you are about to make. Adoption can mean a 10,15, or 20 year commitment! After you think about all this, there's another thing you need to do before picking up your new pet:
- Get ready for a new pet ahead of time. You may need to get a dog house, a litter box, bedding, dishes for food and water, toys, a collar, a leash, litter, food, and goodies. You may need to decide where the new pet will sleep and eat or where the litter box will go. You may need to construct or repair an outdoor enclosure. (Dogs are prohibited from running "at-large" Parish-wide and there is a "leash law" in every municipality. There are now some new "leash laws" on cats and it has always been legal to trap cats on property other than the owners.) Also make sure you "puppy proof" your home. Put away any chemicals that may be laying around, and pick up any small toys that could get lodged in the animals throat.
If you already have animals at home, be sure their shots are up to date because we will be checking. We want to insure that you are committed to providing the needed protection for the animals you already own before you assume responsibility for a new pet. If your current pets are not spayed and neutered, then you ultimately create animals adding to the pet over population crisis.
Plan how you are going to introduce the new pet to existing pets you already have, and how you will reassure the pets you already have. Have all the people in the family meet the animal before you adopt. Children need to be educated in the "rights of the animal" when it is sleeping and eating. A small child can seriously hurt an animal, or an animal can seriously hurt a small child, without intending any harm. Small children and animals should never be left alone together.