The Herald Bulletin

Evening Update


April 6, 2013

Maleah Stringer: Don’t be surprised if shelter animals are slow to adjust

Sometimes I am amazed that more animals aren’t homeless considering the expectations people have concerning them. Many think of pets as furry four-legged humans, expecting them to act human, then only to be upset when they act like animals.

We at the Animal Protection League and many other shelters and rescues spend a great deal of time with people who are adopting our animals. We explain that animals coming from shelters have been eating, sleeping and going to the bathroom in the same place often for months. So it is an unrealistic expectation to think that a dog who has been living in a kennel is housebroken — yes, there is real good chance that that dog will have a few accidents in the house and you will need to house train.

Don’t expect your new pet to settle right in to the routines of your home immediately. It can take weeks or even longer. Just because you’ve picked them and fallen in love with their cute face does not mean that they have bonded to you. Like any relationship, it takes time to develop love and trust and it is not different with an animal. Think about situations in your life where you have taken a new job, moved to a new city, lost your best friend. How long did it take you to adjust? To calm down?

Do not expect the new pet to become instant best friends with the existing animals in the house.  It takes time. That is why it is so important to do the introductions slowly and to make sure they are always supervised. And no, a day or two is not doing it slowly. Crating and rotating dogs so that they become used to each other, keeping the new cat in a separate room or even in a large kennel, and allowing other pets in the home to get used to them can determine success or failure.

Having two dogs is different than having one — and three becomes a pack. The dynamics change whether you like it or not. There has to be a top dog who answers to the top human in the house. Be prepared for these changes.

Cats are sensitive creatures; especially as adults, they often do not handle change well. Yes, they may hide when you first bring them home. Let them. Remember, if you adopted from a shelter they have lived in a small cage and can be overwhelmed with the sudden freedom. That’s why, depending on the cat, it is best to ease them into having the run of the whole house.

And about the kids: Being a kid-friendly pet does not mean that that pet should have to endure anything a child wants to do to it — poke, ride, crawl on, poke, pull tails and ears. If you allow a child to tease and torment an animal, is it really fair to return that animal to the shelter if it bites, nips or scratches a child? This does not make them aggressive; they are protecting themselves. Remember, crates are for the pets, not playhouses for children. Please do not let children get in pet’s crates, depending on the animal it could be setting up a dangerous situation.

Maleah Stringer is executive director of the Animal Protection League, 613 Dewey St., Anderson. She can be reached at 356-0900 or at

Text Only
  • underwood mug [Duplicate] [Duplicate] Scott Underwood: Headlines can capture imagination I'd just left the newspaper office one morning and was driving north on Jackson Street, when I stopped at a red light and glanced at the rearview mirror.

    July 28, 2014 1 Photo

  • Charo Boyd: 'My Social Security' simplifies your life So many people buzz through extremely busy and complicated schedules these days. A smartphone in one hand, a computer in front of you, and a digital task list that never seems to end. In addition, to complicate things just a little more, there’s another event you need to add to your list — National Simplify Your Life week.

    July 28, 2014

  • Maureen Hayden: 9/11 Commission chair scolds Congress for national security failures Retired Congressman Lee Hamilton has warned of the perils of political ideology, calling the body where he spent 34 years “noxiously partisan.” Now, he worries the divide is downright dangerous.

    July 27, 2014

  • Vaughan, Nancy mug [Duplicate] Nancy Vaughan: Fireworks and fireflies mean summer in full swing Hasn't July been a fabulous month? It began with multiple fireworks venues and parades and ends with fairs and football in full swing. We have been blessed with mild weather and if you haven't had to travel much outside of the county, roadwork has been minimal.

    July 26, 2014 1 Photo

  • Ken de la Bastide: City unions go without contracts for many years How Anderson deals with unions has changed dramatically over the years. In the past it would have been unheard of for union members to continue to work without a contract or an agreed upon deadline. But members of three unions that represent Anderson city employees have been working without a new contract agreement for up to seven years.

    July 26, 2014

  • Jim Bailey: Traveling by passenger train was a page from the past My wife doesn’t remember riding on a full-fledged passenger train as a baby. Our children have never ridden. It’s an experience rapidly going the way of the horse and buggy and the stagecoach throughout a nation now obsessed with jumbo jets and sport-utility vehicles.

    July 26, 2014

  • Howard Hewitt: When it comes to wines, small can be very good Repeating the familiar is an easy way to go through life as is taking the safe road. We all do that but find unexpected rewards when taking the path less traveled. That little bit of philosophy applies to visiting wine country.

    July 26, 2014

  • Maleah Stringer: Hats off to the staff at Animal Protection League I often talk about the wonderful volunteers and community support we have at the Animal Protection League. And that volunteers are every non-profits "life blood" this is true for the Animal Protection League as well.

    July 26, 2014

  • Clark, Big Joe mug 'Big Joe' Clark: Beat the market or meet your goals? True or not, my experience tells me that goals – especially when written down – undoubtedly serve as catalysts for success. However, danger arises when a goal does not properly focus on the long term result you expect.

    July 25, 2014 1 Photo

  • Verna Davis: Seek peace by turning from evil and doing good There's something we all want: peace. World peace. Family peace. Personal peace. We yearn for peace, a feeling of freedom from commotion and antagonism, of harmony in our relationships, of lack of strife or dissension. What would we do to have peace in our lives?

    July 25, 2014

Featured Ads
More Resources from The Herald Bulletin
AP Video
Kerry: Humanitarian Cease-fire Efforts Continue Raw: Corruption Trial Begins for Former Va Gov. The Carbon Trap: US Exports Global Warming UN Security Council Calls for Gaza Cease-fire Traditional African Dishes Teach Healthy Eating 13 Struck by Lightning on Calif. Beach Baseball Hall of Famers Inducted Israel, Hamas Trade Fire Despite Truce in Gaza Italy's Nibali Set to Win First Tour De France Raw: Shipwrecked Concordia Completes Last Voyage Raw: Sea Turtle Hatchlings Emerge From Nest Raw: Massive Dust Storm Covers Phoenix 12-hour Cease-fire in Gaza Fighting Begins Raw: Bolivian Dancers Attempt to Break Record Raw: Israel, Palestine Supporters Rally in US Raw: Air Algerie Flight 5017 Wreckage Virginia Governor Tours Tornado Aftermath Judge Faces Heat Over Offer to Help Migrant Kids Kangaroo Goes Missing in Oklahoma More M17 Bodies Return, Sanctions on Russia Grow

Click HERE to read all your Parade favorites including Hollywood Wire, Celebrity interviews and photo galleries, Food recipes and cooking tips, Games and lots more.
Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide
Helium debate
Front page

Do you plan to attend one of the public sessions about the Mounds Lake reservoir project?

Not sure yet
     View Results