Adoption numbers were down this week at Have a Heart. Kittens Spooky and Falcon were adopted together and a young dog named Diesel went home with his new Mom. Good luck to these fur-babies in their new homes. Kudos to the Bull Shoals VFW post for hosting a fund raiser for the Shelter this past Saturday at Harp’s in Bull Shoals. The VFW provided hot dogs, chili, chili dogs and Frito pie in exchange for a donation to Have a Heart. Thanks to everyone who came out to support the Shelter, despite the fact that it was a blustery winter day. Your kindness is greatly appreciated.
Bob is our featured kitty for this week. Poor Bob was found as a very hungry, homeless stray. He is a beautiful grey/silver Tabby cat. His gorgeous coat was so badly matted that we had to have the vet shave him while he was under anesthesia getting neutered. He looks like a lion now, but his handsome coat will grow back. He is very mellow and was obviously a house cat at one time. He enjoys being petted but, without all his fur, his skin might be a little sensitive to overstimulation right now.
We are not featuring a specific dog this week. In the last couple weeks, HAH has taken in two severely malnourished dogs. One has been adopted; the other one needs additional care before he can be adopted. We’re not sure how these dogs ended up out on the street lost and starving, but it’s upsetting to see these pets in such poor condition. Whoever originally owned these dogs was not a very responsible pet owner. There is much more to being a responsible pet owner than merely feeding some kibble. This is why HAH tries to thoroughly screen our potential adopters to ensure that our dogs and cats go to homes where they get the best care possible. In addition to feeding, dogs and cats are required by law to get a Rabies shot from a licensed veterinarian once a year. Fleas and ticks can cause both dogs and cats a lot of misery and can also transmit diseases to household pets, some of which are deadly. They need to be treated monthly for flea and tick protection. Heartworms can be a death sentence for dogs. They need to be on monthly heartworm prevention year round. Intestinal parasites can also affect your pet’s health. Much of our area is rural. Country dogs who have a little room to roam are always finding something dead, gross or disgusting to get into. Unfortunately, this is a good way for them to get parasites. Regular worming is recommended. If you have a long haired pet, they need to be brushed regularly and many breeds of dogs need to be groomed. Grooming for a dog usually starts at about $30.00 and goes up from there. Our featured kitty this week had hair so matted that he had to be shaved. This fur baby did not get proper care. Small dogs tend to have dental problems. It more expensive to get your dog’s teeth cleaned than it is to get people teeth cleaned. Puppies don’t automatically grow into dogs who know how to sit, stay, heel and not poop in the house. They need training. Working full time, taking care of kids and keeping up with a household doesn’t allow much time for dog training. Training can be another unexpected expense. Responsible pet owners don’t let their dogs roam and become a nuisance to the neighbors. Can you afford to fence your yard? Sadly, when things go wrong, the dog or cat ends up on the losing end when he/she gets returned to the Shelter or, worse yet, dumped because their owner was overwhelmed. All of these things can end up adding a fair amount of money to your budget. With this in mind, you should always make sure you can handle the responsibility of owning a pet. If your household is food insecure and assistance is required to feed your family, you may want to think twice before adopting a pet. If you don’t take your kid to the doctor because you can’t afford it, you may want to think twice before adopting a pet. Pets need regular veterinary care, which can be expensive. Vet care in our rural area is a lot less expensive than it is in larger metropolitan areas. I have two small dogs (under 30 lbs. each) and I spent just shy of $1000.00 on their doctor bills last year. If you want the companionship of a pet, but can’t afford one, you can always volunteer at a Shelter or rescue and be able to interact with the dogs and cats without the financial responsibility of ownership. On the whole, our society would have a lot less problems if people would simply take responsibility for their actions. Our pets can be viewed by appointment Thursday through Saturday, 9 am to 3 pm. Pets can also be seen online at www.haveaheartpetshelter.org, on Petfinder, Adopt a Pet, Petango, and Pet Harbor. Have a Heart is located at 657 Highway 202 in Yellville. Phone 870-449-7387.