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Old 03-24-2009, 09:42 AM   #1
Amber
Rose Garden
 
 
Join Date: Jul 2005
Location: The rainy side of Washington.
Posts: 18,232
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Default The Myth of the Free Kitten/Puppy

The Myth of the Free Kitten/Puppy

Spring is here, and with Spring come signs and ads for free kittens. They are so cute, so cuddly and free is such a good price. But before you jump up and run down the street to grab one up think long and hard about what you are getting into.

There is no such thing as a free kitten (or puppy, or any animal really). Free kittens come with hidden costs.
With a free kitten you may have no idea of what kind of health this kitten is in. What may look like a mellow sweet kitten may actually be a rather sickly, and you end up with major vet bills shortly after bringing him home. Chances are with a free kitten, things like deworming (most kittens and puppies are born with roundworms), shots or testing for Feline Leukemia have not been done. Many “free” kittens are weaned early which can lead to health and behavior issues.

So what do you do if you want a kitten? A much better option is to check with your local pet shelter, they have animals of all ages, kitten to adult. Now they are going to charge a fee to adopt a pet, so why should you pay for a kitten when you can get one “free” down the block?

*Not all shelters have the same policies, but most shelters will test for Feline Leukemia, deworm them and start them on vaccines.

*Shelter pets are generally free from mites, ticks and fleas.

*Many shelters microchip the animal before they leave, which is a great tool for reuniting with your pet if they get lost. The cost of microchipping at a shelter vs vet is considerably lower.

*Most shelters are committed to preventing more unwanted animals, and will either spay/neuter your pet before adoption or give you a coupon for free or deeply discounted spay/neuter when the pet is old enough. (For more on the importance of this, please read this thread)

*Shelter pets are often already potty/litter trained!

*Your adoption fees not only cover the cost of services for your pet, but also help to keep a vitally important service available for the many other unwanted animals who have noplace else to go.

*And best of all, adopting from the shelter means you are saving that pets life.


All of this saves you money, as the adoption fee is still cheaper than what it would cost to have it all done at the vet’s office.
No matter where you get a pet, there are always going to be costs associated with it. Whether you get a kitten from the neighbor down the street, a shelter or a breeder they will still need food, toys, a litter box and vet care.

Breakdown showing the actual cost of a “free” kitten vs. a shelter-rescued kitten:
http://www.geocities.com/home4thecat...reekitten.html

Locate a shelter in your area:
(US) http://www.animalshelter.org/shelters/states.asp
(Canada) http://www.animalshelter.org/shelters/canada.asp

Locate and support a no-kill shelter in your area:
(International) http://fluffynet.com/no-kill-shelters/
(US) http://www.saveourstrays.com/no-kill.htm

Note: We are not advocating that non-shelter kittens should be forgotten just that the more people who responsibly adopt (which generally includes spaying/neutering) and help to financially support shelters in their area, the greater the chances are of reducing the number of neglected and overpopulating "street" kitties.
__________________
Amber ISFJ
Wife to my wonderful DH
And keeper of the boys
Big M (6/03) Forever ours Dec 2012
C (6/04),
Little M (10/05) Forever ours Dec 2012
K (5/06)

Missing our foster daughter Miss A
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