by Nikki Senecal
Purrla Deen is ready for adoption.
Purrla Deen was in so much pain she stopped eating. Her teeth hurt, and she needed emergency dental surgery. After having six teeth pulled, she had to be syringe fed a liquid diet. Today, she is back on her special diabetic diet food, and she seems much happier. But her life has never been easy.
Purrla was found in a vacant house in Philadelphia by the new tenants. They took her to the veterinarian, for tests, got her spayed and vaccinated and tried to find her a new home without success. Ten months later, they relocated to New York but were unable to take Purrla along. Fortunately, she found her way to the Animal Coalition of Delaware County. Once there, she was diagnosed as diabetic, hence the special diet. For the better part of two years, she’s been on and off insulin while her foster care givers try to manage her blood glucose levels.
In many ways, she is a lucky cat. It is ACDC’s policy not to adopt out sick animals, but rather to treat them, getting their illnesses under control before our pets join their new homes. Of course, this takes money. If you would like to help cover the costs of surgeries like Purrla Deen’s, click here.
With her bad teeth removed, her foster mom thinks “she will start coming out of her shell a little more.” Even so, Purrla Deen tends to believe “she is the queen of everything and does not hesitate to let visitors know it.” She just got a cute lion cut and is ready for the next phase of her life, which she hopes will be uneventfully happy in a forever home.
By Betsey Cichoracki
Herpes. Ever since high school health class that word has prompted “ewws” and “gross!” in the minds of many. So when our vet informed me that our cat Coal has herpes, I thought “ewww” before even learning what feline herpes really is. Turns out a herpes virus means many things among many species. Continue reading
Obedience training can help ease the transition of a new puppy....for both the puppy and the new human parent!
By Nikki Senecal
Editor’s Note: Nikki Senecal and her husband adopted Stella from the Animal Coalition of Delaware County last year.
At Stella’s first vet visit just days after we adopted her, the doctor declared, “Your dog has behavioral problems.” I replied that we had enrolled her in obedience classes. I was hurt by this diagnosis but completely unsurprised by it. My husband and I had spent the evenings with a dog who basically thought of us as human chew toys. What had we done?
I told this story to my sister who rescued her dog 11 years ago. She revealed that she had similar doubts for the first few months. In fact, when I was telling this story to a group of ACDC volunteers, one admitted that she wondered what they had done when the dog got in the car to go home with them!
Whether your cat is pooping on your bed, or your rabbit has chewed through PVC pipe flooding your bathroom, or your guinea pig is waking the kids from their naps, pets don’t always behave perfectly, especially in the early stages of a new relationship.
While every adoption is different, there are some steps we can take to make them happy and successful.
- Talk to other adopters. I can’t tell you how relieved I was when my sister said she had doubts about her dog. Sometimes all you need to know is that the adjustment to the new pet is just as hard for other people as it is for you!
- Attend obedience training. Not only will your dog learn some basic manners, but you will learn how to respond better to your dog. The classes will help build trust between you. Finally, dogs like to have a job and need intellectual stimulation as well as physical exercise. Obedience training helps with this too.
- Get specialized training. Stella’s mouthiness wasn’t being addressed in our obedience class. That’s when we hired a certified professional dog trainer. Knowing how to respond to Stella made our evenings much more relaxing.
- Restrict your pet’s space. Put the cat, its food, and litter box in one room until she begins to get used to her new home.
- Smells of home. If your new pet comes to you with a bed or toy, continue to use it as a “security blanket.”
By Kim Cavallero
Annie's healthcare ran more than $20,000 in the last two years of her life
How much? You must be kidding. $650 to have my seven-year-old cat’s teeth cleaned? No way.
It shouldn’t have stunned me.
I was no stranger to healthcare bills for my pets. After all, my cat, Annie, who passed away last summer racked up more than $20,000+ in healthcare bills in the last two years of her life. She had a gamut of health issues—things the vets liked to tell me they had never seen in the decades they had been practicing.
While the vets were fascinated at how resilient little Annie was, I was simply scared for her. Every time she went in for another surgery, I was left to wonder how she would fare and how I would ever cover the cost.
Annie and I went through the ER at my local university’s animal hospital many times. And it never ceased to amaze many how many people were there with their animals making heartbreaking decisions. I watched countless people decide to euthanize their pet, even thought their pet’s condition was treatable. Their caretakers were dedicated to them, but they simply couldn’t afford to pay the cost of the care. It was gut-wrenching.
So, when my vet recently told me that my newly adopted seven-year-old cat, Emma, needed to have her teeth cleaned and one removed, I wasn’t surprised. But when my vet turned around and told me how much it would be, I couldn’t help but experience déjà vu.
The difference this time around was that I had purchased pet insurance for Emma when I adopted her. Oh sure….I have many friends and acquaintances who thought I was crazy, but it was the best investment I could have ever made. Of Emma’s $650 bill, her insurance covered $421 after my $200 deductible. Emma’s policy ran me about $185 for the year and it’s already more than paid for itself.
Many ask why I didn’t purchase pet insurance for Annie. The truth of the matter is I didn’t know that I should have when I adopted her. Had I tried to insure her after her health problems began, most of her care would have been considered a pre-existing condition and not been covered.
I don’t regret a penny of the money I spent on Annie’s care, even though I will be paying for it for the next few years. Annie was my heart and soul. But the moral of the story is to get insurance for your pet the day you adopt. It will likely save you from having to make heart-breaking decisions.
In my next post, I’ll give some pointers about what to look for when purchasing a pet insurance policy.