Homes sought for 'rescued' pets

June 17, 1994|By Alisa Samuels | Alisa Samuels,Sun Staff Writer

Chris Jackson could hardly believe her ears when she heard another woman say she wanted a Dalmatian because her two children enjoyed the animated movie "101 Dalmatians."

"The dogs are not dogs in the movies," Ms. Jackson says, adding that such "instant gratification" can leave dogs and cats homeless when the pet's novelty wears off.

Tomorrow, the Central Maryland Dalmatian Club member will be among the animal lovers attending the pet "Rescue Day" in Columbia, an event aimed at finding permanent and temporary homes for homeless pets.

Organized by the Animal Authority, a retail pet supply store on Dobbin Road where Ms. Jackson, works, the 11 a.m.-to-3 p.m. event will draw 15 animal advocacy groups, including the Dalmatian Club and Alley Animals, a Baltimore group that rescues strays from alleys.

"The object is to give a chance for people interested in adopting a pet to get together with people who have pets and are looking for homes," Ms. Jackson said. "If we find five good homes, we'll be happy."

Animal group representatives will interview prospective pet owners and hand out applications and educational literature to those interested in taking in a pet.

"People will not be able to adopt dogs straight from Animal Authority," Ms. Jackson said. "Most of the organizations don't allow that. Most of the organizations want to interview and, in some cases, visit the homes before they let the dog or cat go."

There's a reason for the intense screening.

"We try and match the right dog with the right home," Ms. Jackson said. "Our goal is not to have this new home become the fifth home that the dog loses. Our goal is to put the animal in a home it will stay in for the rest of its life."

People who become pet owners through Rescue Day will receive a free Animal Authority starter kit with coupons and dog or cat food samples.

Pet abandonment has always been a concern of shelters and humane societies, Ms. Jackson said.

"I think it's gotten worse over the years," she said, explaining that society is too busy to care and train pets properly. "Let's face it, we live in a society where people abandoned their kids," she said.

Dogs and cats aren't the only pets that need homes.

Diane Rogers, president of the Baltimore Ferret Club, said her group has found 60 homes for ferrets, small weasel-like mammals that are domesticated.

Many people buy the furry animals on impulse or for other inadvisable reasons, said Mrs. Rogers who will attend Rescue Day. The owners later learn that the fragile animals aren't good around small children. "They will bite," she said.

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