Want Your First Pet? Consider This…


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If you are thinking a new pet is just what you need to make your house a home, you are not alone. Six in ten Americans have some sort of pet, with the majority bringing home dogs, cats, or both. Pets provide companionship and help add routine to their owner’s life. Scientists are not exactly sure why we love our pets so much, but it’s pretty undeniable that we do.

If you’re a first-time pet owner, you may be tempted to get exactly what you want from a breeder. While reputable breeders sell beautiful dogs and cats, there are several drawbacks. First of all, purebreds are very expensive. For instance, a French bulldog can cost anywhere from $1400 to $8000, depending on the breeder and your location. That’s just the price of the dog; when you purchase a dog you are also responsible for paying for its shots, having it fixed, training it, and other puppy expenses. Cats are arguably less maintenance, but they can still cost a pretty penny. A Siamese cat costs anywhere between $400 and $600 before kitten expenses. For this reason and more, it’s a great idea to consider adoption.

How to Determine the Right Pet for You

You may be a “dog person” or a “cat person” and know exactly what you want, but it’s important to consider some lifestyle factors before fully committing.

How large is your home?

If you live in a one bedroom apartment in an urban area, a large dog may not be right for you. Dogs need space to move and run freely, or else they’ll begin acting out around the home. A very small dog under 15 lbs might be best for you– chihuahuas are adorable and easy to find in shelters. However, small dogs still need to be let out often. If the idea of having to go home throughout the day to let your dog out is too restrictive for your lifestyle, consider getting a cat.

Cats’ personalities vary from shy and elusive to playful and affectionate. When you adopt an adult cat from the shelter, you can pick the one with the exact personality you want. You can talk to staff and volunteers about which kitties have the traits you are looking for, and meet with them several times before you take them home so you can get a feel of what you’re getting. You may find you’re a cat person, after all.

What do you like to do?

If you are an outdoorsy, active person and you’re looking for a companion animal to hit the trail, you could provide the ideal lifestyle for a larger dog in need of a good home. You don’t necessarily need a large home and yard to be a large dog owner. If you spend much of your free time going on runs, you could provide enough energy release for a medium to large-sized dog.

On the other hand, if you are a workaholic who often pulls overtime at the office then a dog may not be right for you at all. Cats are much less maintenance. They don’t need to be let out by a dog walker while you’re gone; as long as you maintain their litter box daily, they are fine. You can also buy an automatic feeder for your cat for those days when you are late coming home. Cats sleep 16 to 20 hours a day, so they are pretty great at entertaining themselves while you are gone.

Why Choose a Senior Pet

You’ve figured out what kind of pet best works for your home and your lifestyle so you may be ready to head to the shelter and pick out the first puppy or kitten you like. Pump the brakes; adopting a newly born dog or cat is not all it’s cracked up to be. They can be incredibly destructive around the home. They are not housebroken yet and accidents will–not might– happen. They are high energy and often exhaust their owners. Puppies also chew everything around the house while kittens are more likely to claw things to shreds.

On the other hand, senior pets have better manners. They are already housebroken and have lower energy levels that lead to less destructive behavior. When you adopt an older pet, their personality is pretty much already established. The shelter staff can point you in the direction of a dog or cat that will enjoy your home rather than destroy it. They tend to be calmer and more grateful for your affection. When adopting an older pet, what you see is what you get.  Be sure to prepare your home for an elderly pet by making the litter box easily accessible, adding non-slip rugs throughout your home and having a consistent place for food and sleep.


Pets add life to a home and will provide affection for years to come. However, your initial idea of what you want from a pet may not be the best match for your lifestyle. Consider the size of your home and what you enjoy doing before committing on the kind of pet you want. Furthermore, while you may swoon at the cuteness of puppies and kittens, a senior pet is much more manageable with less maintenance. Whatever you decide to do, adopting a pet means you are providing a loving home for an animal in need. 


Half Priced Adoptions

Celebrate St. Paddy’s Day with Houston Pets Alive! If you visit the the shelter, you can get:

  • Free green beads
  • A free green beer
  • Half-priced adoptions

There will also be games, food and kitty and puppy cuddles for everyone! More information posted below…

Location: 8620 Stella Link Road, Houston, Texas

Date: March 17th, 2018 / 1PM-4PM

To Contact: Call (832) 786-9310

Website: http://www.houstonpetsalive.org/

More About Houston Pets Alive

Houston Pets Alive! (HPA!) is a non-profit organization dedicated to helping make Houston No-Kill. They empower and link the animal rescue community. HPA is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization founded by a woman who spent over a decade in rescue with a never ending supply of animals. She knew that independent rescue was not going to solve the problem. The solution is a comprehensive plan that includes
(1) Pull/ vet/ adopt animals from the euthanasia list
(2) High volume spay/ neuter
(3) Education about positive pet ownership and the importance of spay/ neuter
(4) Political advocacy- some laws need changing, some laws need enforcing and some laws need to be dropped
All while marketing two overarching themes, which are: (1) rescue has the animal you’re looking for; and (2) Doing what is right is vital to our community.
In addition to accomplishing the above four goals using the overarching marketing themes, HPA! is creating an alliance with other rescue and advocacy groups. Our voice is louder and stronger together. To learn more about the alliance, email Andrea@houstonpetsalive.org.

How to get Involved

To volunteer, email info@HoustonPetsAlive.org.
Photography– Take pictures of our foster animals
Write animal bios– Speak to the quirks and loving nature our animals have
Transport- Pick up from shelter and drop off at foster, pick up from foster and drop off at adoptions, pick up from foster and take to vet
Data entry- Enter foster/ volunteer contact and animal info into our database
Fundraising and event planning- Plan social events to raise money and spread cheer
Foster- Provide a safe, warm and loving environment while our animals find their forever home
Adoption events– Hand out flyers, help people find the right pet
Social media– Engage the community by creating Facebook posts
Volunteer coordinators- People always ask, “How do I help” and your job would be to point them to the committee they are most passionate about
Lunch and learns- Meet with corporate America to explain: (1) Rescue has what you’re looking for; and (2) The importance of spay & neuter and collect donations and volunteer applications

Wash & Wag

Treat your pup on this St. Patricks Holiday!
For $25, your canine companion will receive a Relaxing Bath, Cleaning Ear Rub, Warming Blow Dry, Massaging Brush Out, and your Choice of a Finishing Spray in Seasonal Inspired Scents. Call DOCPAC now at 361-575-8573 to schedule your morning drop off appointment for our “Lucky Dog Wash & Wag”. Drop off begins at 7am and pick up by 6pm. More information posted below..

Date of Event: March 15th, 8am-5pm

DOCPAC is located at 135 Progress Drive, Victoria, TX 77905

Contact Info:

St. Pawtrick’s Day Party

Let’s party with a purpose! Come out to Holler Brewing on March 17th to benefit Friends For Life, the only No Kill, LEED certified animal shelter in Houston. Along with a selection of fresh beers, they’ll have representatives from Friends for Life, an appearance from the Ambassadogs, and raffle prizes throughout the day! The event is family and dog friendly! All proceeds from the Dollar Pils Y’all sold that day will go towards this great organization that finds homes for animals in need.

Where: 2206 Edwards St. Suite A, Houston, Texas 77007

More About Friends for Life: Friends for Life is moving Houston forward to a No Kill future though programs that redefine “adoptable.” We rescue, medically treat, and place animals into loving homes. 75% of the animals we have already placed would not be saved without our unique programs. A visionary non-profit saving thousands of animals through our innovative adoption, rescue, rehabilitation, pet retention and animal food bank programs.

For more Information: http://www.friends4life.org

Pets Day at the Beach

You do not want to miss out on the fun in the sun! Enjoy a day at the beach with some adorable pets! All pets welcome! Pet(s) must be on a leash. This event will have pet friendly activities and LOTS of fun for everyone! More information posted below…

When: Saturday, March 24 at 10 AM – 6 PM

Where: Crystal Beach- Barrel 74; 100 Barret St, Port Bolivar, TX 77650, USA

Hosted by Jeeps on the beach. This is a group of “Jeepers” who love to have fun in the sun! They have events throughout Texas that are family friendly and Jeep related.

To Contact: @JeepsAtTheBeachTX

Dog Yoga

*Today at 6:30 PM – 9:30 PM*

Bring your best little buddy to Yoga&Hops for a special Dog Yoga class at Under the Radar Brewing. Yoga&Hops is expanding their brewing family, and to celebrate, everyone’s invited – including pups! Class will be held in Under the Radar’s enclosed biergarten. Participants will spend an hour on their mats moving through a combination of human and dog yoga. They will learn some poses and stretches they can do with their dog along with trying yoga in a fun new environment. This class is focused on creating a perfect opportunity for people to bond more with man’s best friend. Canine friends are welcomed no matter the size or level, just keep in mind you will be responsible for your own dog during class. Don’t have a pup? You can still come and get in on the fun and/or borrow a bestie for a few poses. Either way you will laugh, connect, drink beer (humans only), and eat treats. You know your own dog best, so if Fido feels more comfortable on a leash, please bring one. Under the Radar is one of Houston’s newest breweries. Dog- and family-friendly, it opened a year ago near south Midtown and the Museum District.

For Tickets: https://clients.mindbodyonline.com/ASP/su1.asp?studioid=229405&tg=&vt=&lvl=&stype=&view=&trn=0&page=&catid=&prodid=&date=3%2f9%2f2018&classid=0&prodGroupId=&sSU=&optForwardingLink=&qParam=&justloggedin=&nLgIn=&pMode=0&loc=1

Discounted Microchip and Nail Trim

Dorothy O’Connor Pet Adoption Center (DOCPAC) will be offering discounted nail trims and microchips for your pet(s) on Monday, March 5th thru Friday March 9th from 10am – 5pm each day!
• Must bring your pet’s proof of current Rabies Vaccination
• Dog or cat must be non-aggressive so our staff can handle them for these procedures
• No appointment needed
• All dogs must remain on a leash at all times
• Cats must be contained in a pet safe carrier
Event Details:
• Dates: Monday, March 5th – Friday, March 9th
• Times: 10:00 AM to 5:00 PM each day
• Location: DOCPAC Shelter (135 Progress Drive, Victoria, TX 77905)
• $10.00—Microchip (includes registration)
• $5.00—Nail Trim

All proceeds from this event help DOCPAC continue to provide the highest standard of care to the homeless animals in our area. Call DOCPAC at 361-575-8573 for more information.
Reasons to Microchip Your Pet
• Permanent pet identification
• Best chance of recovering your pet
• Lasts for your pet’s lifetime
Each year, thousands of lost and abandoned animals are taken in by shelters and humane societies across North America; some never make it back home because they can’t be identified. Collar tags can break or become unreadable and tattooing can become illegible. So, if you want to improve your pet’s chances of getting home fast and safe in case he/she goes missing, microchipping is your best option.
Microchipping offers pet owners the security and peace of mind that comes from the only permanent pet identification technology and a safe and secure way to reunite you and your pet. Veterinarian clinics, animal shelters, and PetSmart have universal microchip scanners that can read your pet’s unique microchip number. This microchip number is linked to your name, address, and phone numbers. This means that even if your pet isn’t wearing a collar, or the collar comes off, the owners can still be found. A microchip provides your pet extra protection from being lost or stolen.

Rock-A-Bully One Year Anniversary

Rock-A-Bully Rescue is having their one year anniversary! They are hosting an event to thank their fosters, adopters, volunteers, donors, and to everyone who had any part of helping to save a life. Help celebrate their one year anniversary at Under the Radar Brewery on March 3rd from 4pm-8pm. They will have adoptable dogs! Shop Local Market will be there from 4pm-10 pm selling super neat vintage items like clothing, jewelry, and more! Admission is FREE and the beer will be sold to anyone who attends! There is also a food truck with food and sodas.  Come support your local rescue!

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Conference on “No Kill Shelter” Movement

Everyone is welcome to join the 2nd Annual UPROM Conference (United Pet Rescuers of Montgomery County) coming up March 2-3, 2018. The conference aims to provide a platform for education and collaboration for a No Kill Community. Many local animal welfare organizations, shelters, and anyone from the general public interested in helping animals in our community are welcomed!
Conference will include important topics covering basic animal welfare issues, shelter enrichment programs, legal and operational topics, fund-raising, marketing, getting to a No Kill community, and much more! The conference is hosted by Lone Star College-Montgomery members, and sponsored by Operation Pets Alive, Texas Litter Control, with support from the Petco Foundation.
You can check out this year’s agenda, and register here:

Registration Fee before Feb 1 – $25 (early bird fee)
Registration Feb1-Feb 23 – $35
Registration after Feb 23 – $40
Registration for LSC-Montgomery Students – No Charge
Registration for Animal Control Officers – No Charge if registered by Feb 23. $15.00 after Feb 23.

The conference will be held on March 2nd from 11:30am to 7pm and March 3rd from 8:30am to 4pm. Registration Fee covers both days. Dinner will be provided on the 2nd and breakfast and lunch on the 3rd.

Tips to Be a Polite Dog-Owning Neighbor

pexels-photo-406014Photo credit: Pexels

Owning a dog is a great joy, but it is also a great responsibility. Of course, you have a responsibility to give your dog plenty of love and care, but that responsibility also means being a good dog-owning neighbor. While you may think of etiquette as applying only to humans, etiquette applies to dogs too, both at home and out in your neighborhood.

Dog Etiquette at Home

  • Greeting guests – If your dog acts out when people come over, whether you have a door dasher, an overexcited dog, or some other behavior problem, get to the bottom of it with some simple solutions. For a dog that gets overly excited, VetStreet recommends using a head halter or harness to keep your dog from lunging at guests. If your dog is prone to dashing out the door, keep them on a leash or use a barrier when guests arrive. As a long-term solution, work on training your dog to sit at doors and only release on command.
  • Outdoor behavior – Time spent outdoors is when your dog has the biggest impact on neighbors. Your dog should never be allowed to wander loose outside your home. It is impolite to let your dog go into a neighbor’s yard, and it’s also important for your dog’s safety and the safety of others. Keeping your dog in your own yard is respectful to your neighbors and their pets. Even if your dog loves being social, a neighbor’s pet may not be as friendly and welcoming of your dog wandering into their yard. Installing a fence is an easy way to keep your dog safe in your yard and be respectful of neighbors. According to HomeAdvisor, the average cost to install a wood fence in Houston is between $1,403 and $3,251.
  • Being a good neighbor – Whether inside your home or outside, your dog’s barking is a noise that carries, so be aware of how much your dog barks and whether you should intervene. Barking is how a dog communicates, so a certain amount of barking is normal. But a dog that barks at every single sound, or who is left to bark incessantly outdoors, becomes a concern to you and your neighbors. If this is the case, anytime your dog barks inappropriately, call them to you and then reward them with praise and treats. Over time, this training will help reign in barking.

Out in the Neighborhood

  • Be a polite walker – Being a responsible dog-owning neighbor extends to when you go for walks. Your dog should always be on a leash, for their own safety as much as for being polite to others who are out in the neighborhood. Be considerate about where your dog urinates too, taking care to avoid lawns, flowers, and mailboxes. And the number one rule of being a polite dog walker – always pick up their waste!
  • Keep vaccines and identification current – Even when your dog is on a leash, being out in the neighborhood means your dog will be interacting with people and other dogs you encounter. For everyone’s health and safety, make sure your dog is always current on vaccines and has current identification with your contact information on their collar.
  • Bring your manners to the dog park – Going to a dog park is a great way to help your dog get plenty of exercise and socialization, but etiquette rules apply to make sure everyone stays safe. Always clean up after your dog, just as you would on a walk. The American Kennel Club also says you should stay away if your dog shows any signs of illness, and when you’re there, keep a vigilant watch on your dog to make sure they never show signs of aggression.

You love your dog as a member of the family, so you should expect the same polite behavior from them as you would expect from any other member of the family. To foster that good behavior, train your pooch to behave appropriately at home, and make sure you’re respectful when out in the neighborhood. Follow these tips, and your dog will be a canine model citizen!