San Francisco Animal Care & Control evaluates the behavior of each animal that is made available for adoption and shares this information with potential adopters. ACC staff members are always ready to answer your questions and help you find the best companion.
Caring for a companion animal goes far beyond providing food, water and shelter. It takes research and careful planning to bring the right pet into your home, and to make sure your lifestyle is the right one for your pet. Answering the following questions will get you started.
For many kids, the family pet is their best friend – a companion who not only provides unconditional love, but who also teaches them about friendship, responsibility, loyalty, and empathy. Don’t just consider cats and dogs: rabbits, hamsters, guinea pigs, small birds, and fish can make great family pets. These animals may be smaller than a cat or dog, but they require just as much attention and care.
While a family pet offers children a wonderful opportunity to learn about caring and responsibility, regular pet-care duties need to be carefully supervised by an adult. A child should never be solely responsible for a pet. Also keep in mind that your child’s life and interests will change over the next ten to 15 years. The ultimate responsibility for a pet’s care and safety is that of the adults in the household. As soon as you bring a pet into your household, set up and enforce rules regarding proper pet care. For example, tell your children not to pull the animal’s tail, ears, or other body parts, and insist that they never tease, hit, or chase the pet. Teach children how to properly pick up, hold, and pet the animal. These simple lessons are essential to helping kids become responsible caretakers. Ultimately, your children will learn how to treat animals–and people–by watching how you treat your pet.
Many large dogs are surrendered to animal shelters because they were cute, little, fluffy puppies one week and big, clumsy, enthusiastic teenagers the next. It takes time to teach any dog basic manners, like not to pull on the leash, not to jump on people and not to play too roughly, and even more time and patience with a puppy.
Special thanks to ASPCA and the Humane Society of the United States.