Steve Dale Petcast #3: Pet Adoptions with Dr. Ellen Jefferson


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Dr. Ellen Jefferson

Listen HERE to this pet adoption installment of the Steve Dale Petcast, heard via WGN Radio, presented by Merrick Pet Care.

Of course, the pandemic has been a tragedy – however, one bright light are the record number of pet adoptions (in the U.S. and some other countries). I chat with Dr. Ellen Jefferson, president and CEO Austin and American Pets Alive.

So, why did pet adoptions reach and exceed record numbers? One reason was, no doubt, an absolute need. In some places, at the start of the pandemic, it was possible that altruistically communities came forward because it was possible no employees or volunteers would be allowed inside to even feed the animals. So people came forward to save the animals, it was wonderful. But as the pandemic wore on, in most places, adoptions remained high. Dr. Jefferson offers her views.

Whether you live in the White House, or it’s your house, Dr. Jefferson offers tips on how to acclimate new dogs or cats into a home, including what she says “is the best thing you can do.”

We discuss the new idea of foster sleepovers, which increasingly shelters offer and the surprising results for dogs.  And we discuss what cats and dogs communicate to one another in shelters.

Encouraging The Human Animal Bond

Dr. Jefferson offers advice on how to encourage bonding with the new family.

Dr. Jefferson talks about the value of an adoption to help to choose the right pet for you in the first place. And she offers tips on introducing a new pet into a multi-pet home, including for dogs taking them to a neutral place (away from the house) for a walk (with another pair of hands helping out).

Once adopted, keep the pet on the same diet as the pet was on in the shelter or foster home, then over time you can transition to your choice.