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If moving, plan ahead and don't leave your pets behind

Cottonwood Journal Extra of Cottonwood, Arizona

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Paws Around Town

I know many people are moving due to many different reasons. On a daily basis, many people move and do not take in consideration where their pet is going. Unfortunately, many places do not allow animals. I feel, as many animal lovers do, that this is an unfortunate situation.

In my job, I see many animals abandoned after a move. Where do they end up? If they are lucky and are still alive when we find them, they end up in a shelter or rescue. We know our heartfelt rescues and shelters do all they can and have many intakes on a daily basis To offset more burden on them, take the time to research and plan before you move and leave your pet to fend for him or herself.

I hope we can increase awareness to senior places to allow animals, as many of them don't. Animals help our health. They stimulate happiness and give us a sense of love even during our hardest times. So many scientific tests have been done when people are around animals showing how they help us. During a time when many seniors leave their home for assisted care, they feel they are giving up so much. If they have to give up their animal that is one more thing they are losing. It is heartbreaking for them. I have been seeing more senior housing allowing animals under certain guidelines. That is a great step, not only to help their new resident, but also to help our shelters and rescues.

Three years ago, we moved to Arizona, a 3,000-mile move for us. At the time, we had two dogs and a cat. As we were planning our move, I was trying to think of the best way I could bring our animals with us. Since the move was so far, it made it much more difficult. You were talking not one day in a car but at least three. In addition, many hotels will not want you to bring three animals into the rooms. Flying your animal is not cheap and I was worried about the stress on them.

After much deliberation, we had a plan. I was going to drive out and bring our two dogs with me. My husband and youngest son were going to fly out a few weeks later with our cat. I can remember many people thinking we were crazy going through all that bother for our animals. I was thinking just the opposite — how could I leave my family behind? I was excited to show my animals Arizona as much as I was excited myself. New scents of animals, new hiking terrain — how could I not give my fur babies that opportunity with the commitment I had made to them?

So I headed across the country with my two girls in the back seat They were so good, and I still have pictures of the whole adventure. It was exciting to see them step into our new home. My husband was finishing up some loose ends and then it was his turn. I will never forget how nervous he was with our cat Our cat was 15 years old at the time, and let's just say she is temperamental. All you cat lovers understand.

Our Grizzy was in a carrier and going to ride under my husband's seat. He was so worried about her meowing and annoying everyone on this seven-hour flight. Then his concern was that if she went to the bathroom, he would be real unpopular. I thought about my cat flying high in the air and knew she was being taken care of by her dad and she would be just fine. To be honest, I was glad I did the drive with the dogs as I would have had the same concerns my husband did. When they stepped off that plane and I saw our cat in the carrier, I grabbed her kissed her. She looked at me and meowed like yes, I made it, mom. The feeling of having our family was complete. With her age, I was especially worried about the stress on her, but my husband did a great job. In fact, I had to endure stories of how everyone thought she was a great cat, so quiet that they didn't even know she was traveling under his seat. By the way, she did not go to the bathroom in her crate. She waited and used her fresh litter box when she arrived at her new home. It is so nice if you can move with your pets. There are always circumstances beyond our control when sometimes we can't take them. Do as much planning as possible to have a great new home for them if there is no way they can come with you. Not only will your animal be happy, but it is responsible pet ownership.

Have you ever seen a homeless person with a dog? Driving across country on my move, it was a regular sight. Why do you think they hung onto them and didn't give them up? It is because animals are truly man's best friend.

I want to thank you all for your calls and questions I have had from my past articles. I am glad they are making a difference in your life. Please share the knowledge with your family and friends. As always, if I can help in any way, feel free to contact me and I will get back to you. We have so many resources here in our amazing community. Do not be afraid to reach out and use them Paws Around Town was written this week by Lisa Diacik, Camp Verde Animal Control.

Copyright 2014 Cottonwood Journal Extra, Cottonwood, Arizona. All Rights Reserved. This content, including derivations, may not be stored or distributed in any manner, disseminated, published, broadcast, rewritten or reproduced without express, written consent from SmallTownPapers, Inc.

Original Publication Date: April 23, 2014

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