Editorial: Make provisions for petsPet owners know their animals quickly become members of the family.
Pet owners know their animals quickly become members of the family.
So it’s important for them to take their pets’ care and safety into account as much as that of other family members. In the summer heat, car owners don’t leave defenseless companions inside of those vehicles with the windows closed. Likewise in winter’s bitter cold, arrangements need to be made for helpless friends to survive outdoors.
Even creatures able to withstand freezing temperatures for longer periods of time should have shelter available. Unfortunately, instead of making provisions for dogs in particular, many of their owners seem to leave them uncontrolled year-around. That results in a greater burden for law enforcement when they become involved due to dogs roaming neighborhoods or barking and disturbing the neighbors there.
In the best interest of everyone—man and beast alike—masters are encouraged to accept responsibility for their pets. This responsibility extends to occasions when an owner must be away from home and can’t take their furry or feathered pals with them. In that case, finding a kennel or pet care service that can be trusted is paramount.
The Wisconsin Better Business Bureau (BBB) has addressed the issue, indicating it receives hundreds of complaints from pet owners about kennels annually. Not only disputes over billing, but over the pets’ treatment are among common complaints. Some owners say their pets return from poor boarding kennels severely dehydrated and malnourished or rife with fleas, ticks and even maggots. Worst case scenarios include pets becoming extremely ill from their stay at poor facilities resulting in lengthy stays at the animal hospital.
The BBB recognizes leaving pets in the care of someone else can be nerve-wracking and the stress can overshadow an entire trip. Officials recommend doing research and finding a kennel which can be trusted. A checklist has been created by the BBB to help in choosing a safe and reliable home-away-from-home for pets, as follows:
—Check the kennel out with the BBB first to make sure they have a good track record for keeping customers satisfied.
—Ask friends, neighbors, veterinarians or local animal shelters for recommendations. Also, the Pet Care Services Association web site has a pet service locator which might be helpful in the search.
—Personally visit the facilities. Check for cleanliness and offensive odors, and note the overall safety of the kennel and cages.
—If the pet is prone to running away, ask about steps the kennel has taken to make their facilities escape-proof.
—Ask about how a pet may come in contact with other animals. Some kennels let animals play together while others keep them separate at all times.
—If the state requires inspections, look for the certificate on the wall and make sure the kennel is properly licensed.
—Ask about the feeding schedule, water accessibility and frequency of—or fees related to—exercise.
—Note the friendliness of staff members and how they interact with the other boarding pets. Ask about their background and experience.
—Make sure the facility requires all entering pets have proof of immunization and ask about their policies regarding flea and tick control.
—Ask about the hours for drop off and pick up, and make sure to understand their billing policy.
—Ask what happens in case of a medical emergency or other unexpected situation.