Okay everyone it is finally time for me to finish up my animal stories blog series. As I explained in the beginning I started this series because I realized that with each animal that has joined my family I have learned more about animal rights and I honestly believe that has shaped me into a better person. If you haven’t been following the series I recommend checking out my first post Animal Stories: Koga the Wolf Demon where I discuss the downfalls of being purebred obsessed and my second post Animal Stories: Lily where I learned first hand how easy it is to run into a puppy mill.
Today I want to talk about the newest addition to our family, our adorable cat Songo. Songo was the last animal to join our little clan and I like to think that after our experiences with Koga and Lily my husband and I were more prepared to find animal for our home without supporting people or businesses that are harmful to animals.
This time we decided to find our cat be getting in contact with our local humane society and I am so glad we did! I think that there are a lot of misconceptions when it comes to getting an animal from the humane society that prevent many people from considering looking into the humane society as an option.
One common misconception is that it is a long and time-consuming process. Obviously each state/county has their own regulations and rules so it is important that you look into your area but I found the process to be incredible quick. We started the process by looking at animals from humane societies in our area online.
After we looked around for a bit we came across Songo’s profile (although at the time she was going by the name Brixton) and something about her caught our eye. We called the shelter and asked to make an appointment to see her. It was important to use to introduce her to our three year old daughter beforehand to make sure that Songo would be able to handle kids in her life. We were able to make the appointment for the same week and couldn’t wait to see her!
At the appointment the workers brought us back to where Songo was and we let Songo and Nadia (my daughter) get to know each other. Songo had absolutely no problem being held and cuddled by our daughter so we knew it would be a good fit. We immediately asked to adopt her.
The workers took us to the front desk to fill out paperwork and explain the process of adopting Songo. Basically we were agreeing to get her spayed within the month after adoption, to have her seen by our vet within the first week of her adoption, and to license her with the city. We were more than happy to agree with all of that. We then needed to provide documentation from our vet that should that our current animals were all up to date on their shots.
We agreed to all of the terms and signed the paperwork and then we were told Songo would be available for pick up within the next two days. We were able to license her at the humane society so it really came to zero inconvenience on our part.
Another thing people worry about is that it will be too expensive. This actually makes me chuckle a bit considering that people are generally willing to spend hundreds of dollars on purebred animals. Trust me, you are not spending that much at the humane society. In fact the adoption fee for Songo was a grand total of… fifteen dollars. Obviously we had to pay for her license, vet appointment, and to be spayed but those are costs that you have for any animal.
Which brings me to another sad fact. We didn’t know this before we found Songo but the reason she was so inexpensive is that many Humane Societies cut the fees in half for animals that our all black. This is because there is a stigma that all black animals are more aggressive or bad luck and animal shelters have a harder time finding people who are willing to make them part of their homes. That is just crazy to me! It’s 2016 people. I guarantee you that the color of an animal’s fur in no way effects the level of aggression or its luckiness.
Songo is truly the sweetest cat I have ever met. I know I may be biased since she’s my cat but I swear it is true. She let’s my daughter cart her around everywhere and has even become friends with our two dogs. Songo is very affectionate and spends every night at the foot of our bed. She really enjoys being brushed and petted and can spend hours chilling on your lap. Sure there are times where she likes her under the couch solitude but on the whole she is a very docile and cuddly cat. I think it is a shame that many people wouldn’t give her a second look just because she’s all black!
Another misconception is that animals from an animal shelter will be hard to train or very sickly. The goal of an animal shelter is to find forever homes for each of the animals, because of this the workers there are going to be very honest about what will and will not work for each animal. They are not going to lie to you because what good would that serve if the animal wasn’t a good fit and you brought it back?
When we got Songo they were very straightforward with us. They told us that they had found her and three other cats abandoned in a house. The workers were pretty sure that Songo had experience with humans before since she didn’t really need to be trained to use the litter box and while she could be skiddish around humans she really liked them once she got to know them.
Thankfully we found her shortly after she was brought to the Humane Society because I’m sure that she was more than ready to find her true home. Since she was abandoned she was very underweight and dehydrated since she was having to fend for herself for so long. We were able to get her into see our vet and have her spayed within a few days of bringing her home.
Our vet was able to give us advice on how to get Songo’s weight up and suggested that we mix a can of wet food with dry food for Songo at least once a day. She also reminded us to make sure that water was freely available so that Songo could have access whenever she needed. I’m happy to say that it has been working! When we first got Songo she was so skinny, you could feel her ribs when you petted her or picked her up. She has added weight sense then and is really becoming much healthier.
The biggest problem we had once we brought Songo home was teaching her not to scratch the furniture but the Humane Society gave us some helpful suggestions for that as well. We also did our own research on the best way to help curb this habit and I’m proud to say that Songo has gotten very good at using her scratching posts and not our couch and chair.
I think the most important thing that somebody who is deciding to find an animal through an animal shelter needs to remember is to be honest with themselves. Listen if you see a dog that is, “sooo cute,” and you really want it but the shelter says that this particular animal would do best in a household with no cats and you have a cat then don’t lie to the shelter and think that this dog is going to miraculously get along with your cat just because you want them too.
I think sometimes we as humans forget that animals have their own unique personalities just like us and it is selfish of us to ignore that. If the shelter says that a particular animal is in need of a lot of medical care make sure that you are both financially prepared for that and have the time to dedicate to that animal. Trust me it is okay to be honest with the shelter. If you cannot afford an animal’s medical needs the shelter wants you to be honest about that. Don’t think that they’re going to think that you’re a bad person or anything like that. They are honestly just interested in finding the best animal that works for your household.
My final words would be this; if you’re looking for a new animal I highly recommend starting with the local animal shelters in your area. I had a great experience with mine and I’m so happy to have Songo as part of our home. There are so many animals in need of good homes that I really think a majority of people could find their perfect companion there.
If by chance you can’t by all means look around online but just be aware of where you are getting your animals. Puppy mills are much more common then people think and it is pretty easy to come across them, especially if you are only interested in finding a purebred dog.
I am providing a link below that can be helpful to people trying to find animals shelters near them.
I hope that you have found this post helpful! Please comment below with any animal stories you have.