The Calhoun County Animal Center promotes owner accountability and puts the needs of animals over public demand. Every adoptable animal deserves a home capable of caring for them properly. The Owner Accountability Initiative (OAI) was developed to prepare owners and promote responsibility within the community. Be sure to look into the documents linked to the right for more in-depth information. Training makes it easier for both you and your pet to communicate.
Dogs should have a set feeding schedule to ensure healthy weight and nutrient intake. Free feeding may lead to obesity and health problems associated with excessive weight including hip dysplasia, congestive heart failure, overheating, and more. Dogs will often be defensive of their food around a new dog. Prevent this by feeding them in separate rooms where they cannot see one another.
Cats can often be free fed; however, if they tend to over-eat or eat too quickly, owners should switch them to a feeding schedule or buy a bowl that limits how much or how fast they can eat at one time. Owners should also take into account how many cats they have and make food available accordingly.
Sudden changes in food brands can cause diarrhea in pets, if changing brands be sure to slowly wean them into the new food over the course of a week using both the old and new food mixed together.
Make sure water is always available to your pets, be sure to clean and refill their bowl as needed. Excessive water drinking can mean a dehydrated pet, and a lack of water intake could mean more serious health issues. The same allowances should be made for outdoor pets, though refills should be more frequent.
Any adopted pet will need their potty training reinforced. Dogs should be let outside at least once every couple of hours to recognize where their "bathroom" is. For difficult cases, use positive reinforcement. Take treats outside, and when your dog goes, praise them and give a treat. Continue doing this until your dog goes reliably. Continue to praise; consistency is key here!
Cats are easier and the same idea is applicable. When they first get home, put them in their litter box once every couple hours so they know where it is and what they should do. If marking or spraying becomes an issue, take them to the vet as this can be a symptom of other medical issues. Clean all litter boxes thoroughly on a regular basis, AVOID BLEACH. Bleach is very harmful to cats respiratory systems, as are other harsh cleaners.
Adopting a pet automatically makes the owner responsible for any severe health issues. Seek veterinary care for any concerns you have with your pet. Occasionally some of the shelter's animals will catch minor ailments before they go home. In those cases, medication will be sent home with them. The shelter also provides other services that can be found here.
All pets adopted from the Calhoun County Animal Center will leave with a HomeAgain microchip. These chips are about the size of a grain of rice and are injected just underneath the skin between the shoulder blades. Having your pet "chipped" will greatly increase the odds of your pet coming home should they get lost. Keeping your information up to date with the shelter and the microchip company you choose is vital to getting your pet returned. If moving, or changing phone numbers, be sure to update the contact information! If your pet is lost and is NOT chipped, follow the steps on our Lost Pet Info page.