The new adoption center at the Capital Humane Society in Lincoln, Nebraska, was made possible by Mark Pieloch’s $1.5 million donation. The Pieloch Adoption Center is designed to increase pet adoptions and facilitate the adoption procedure, giving adopters a peaceful setting to interact with adoptable companion animals and match the right person to the right pet. The organization also works hard to educate the community and potential adopters about the best way to introduce a new pet into the home and how to properly care for their new companion for life.
Will They Get Along?
Many people who adopt shelter pets already have pets in the home. Shelters often ask adopters to bring the pet—especially a dog—from home to the shelter to meet the new playmate. First meetings may not be love at first sight, but shelter experts can usually tell whether the pets will get along. Bringing a new pet home may disrupt the household for a time, but there are ways to safely introduce pets to one another and minimize the disruptions.
The Smell Says It All
Before you bring a new pet home, obtain a blanket or some kind of article that has the new pet’s scent on it. Then let your pet sniff and investigate. Companion animals rely more on smell than any other sense, so getting them used to a new pet’s scent before the face-to-face meeting can go a long way toward soothing tensions.
Dogs Need Neutral Territory
First meetings between dogs should take place in neutral territory. Both dogs should be on a loose leash, each with a separate handler. Take a walk, keeping a safe distance between the two dogs. Let the dogs get used to being seeing one another. Let the dogs cross paths, allowing each to sniff where the other walked. If both dogs seem calm, allow a face-to-face meeting. Watch for signs of aggression and be ready to pull the leash back if necessary.
Give Cats Some Space
Before bringing a new cat home, prepare a safe, quiet room with food and water away from other pets and activities in the home. Give your new kitty time to feel safe and explore the room. Spend as much time with the cat in the safe room as possible, but don’t bring any other pets with you. Trade scented items back and forth. Depending on the cat’s personality and background, it can take anywhere from one to three weeks before the cat feels comfortable enough to leave the safe room. When introducing pets for the first time, make sure there is a safe place for the new pet to hide if needed. Make the initial meetings short and gradually lengthen them as the animals become comfortable with one another. Expect a little sparring, but don’t allow physical confrontations. Until it is clear that the cat and other pets in the household get along, allow only supervised visits. Put the cat back in the safe room when you are away.
The donation Mark Pieloch gave to the Capital Humane Society is making a tremendous difference in the lives of the homeless pets in Lincoln, Nebraska. With an animal behaviorist on staff, the shelter facilitates adoptions and professionally assists with introducing companion animals to one another. More people are adopting than ever before, enriching their own lives and the lives of the pets they bring home.