Welcome to iHCPL: The Next Generation. This site was created as the next step in Harris County Public Library's iHCPL Learning 2.0 Program; a discovery learning program designed to encourage staff to explore new technologies. The original iHCPL program was adapted from The Public Library of Charlotte & Mecklenburg County's Learning 2.0 Program.

Monday, October 5, 2009

Pets #71: Finding a Pet

Adopting a pet can be a rewarding experience that adds love and companionship to your life. But before you adopt a pet you need to make sure you are ready for the responsibility and that you pick the right pet for you and your lifestyle. You may think your sister's Labrador is fun when you visit them at their house with the big fenced in yard. But if you live in an apartment and have to walk the dog several times a day (picking up his Labrador-sized poop as you go) it might not seem fun at all.

Take this quiz to find out what kind of pet might be right for you:
Pet Picker Quiz

If you have children in your home there will be other concerns to address before adding a pet to your family. The Humane Society has an excellent article about things to consider when selecting a pet and introducing it into a home with children.

So where do you find this creature who is going to make your home or family complete? There are two wonderful resources that allow you to search for pets by zip code, type and breed. Pet Harbor searches shelters for the type of pet you select. First you select the type and breed of animal and then you select which shelters you want to search. Petfinder also allows you to search by type and breed and will list the results by distance from the zip code you type in. Listings from Animal Rescue organizations can be found in Petfinder. Petfinder also offers a wonderful section on pet care for a variety of pets as well as pet health and training. Other places to find pets are ASPCA, Citizens for Animal Protection (CAPS), and Harris County Animal Control.

Adopting a pet from a shelter or pound is usually easy involving only an application and small fee. Adopting a pet from a rescue organization is a little more involved and will usually cost more AND will have a home visit with interview to make sure you and the pet are a good fit. You will also sign a contract promising to keep the pet or return it to that rescue agency--no giving it away to someone else! Many pet rescue organizations are breed specific and often use Petfinder for their pet listings. Some local animal rescues are Houston Cat Rescue, Dachshund Rescue of Houston, and Boston Terrier Rescue of Houston.

Before bringing your pet home you will need get things ready for his/her safety and comfort. Pet Proofing is easy if the pet is contained in a cage but is more involved for pets allowed to roam. The ASPCA offers some suggestions for preparing your home for your new pet.


1. Take the Pet Picker Quiz to find out what type of pet might be right for you.
2. Do a pet search in Petfinder or Pet Harbor and discover some animals that need a family and a home like yours.
3. Write about the results in your blog.

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