Ask Dr. Kait: You can be Fremont's Valentine

·3 min read

Feb. 10—Each year my staff and I participate in rescuing abandoned pets that cross our paths. Some are found injured, some are surrendered when a pet owner cannot provide care and sadly some are abandoned. We currently are fostering a puppy, a chameleon and a dog named Fremont. Fremont is now available for adoption. She is a Corgi/Border Collie mix and is approximately 18 months old. Here is Fremont's story...

One of my staff members was driving on Fremont Ave. in Lemoore. She observed a white sedan stopped at an intersection. As the automobile pulled away, a little dog was running as fast as her little legs would take her. She was running with all her might in an attempt to catch the vehicle. Despite her best efforts, the exhausted pup gave up and turned away defeated. My staff member pulled over and the sweet pup got right into her vehicle. She was brought to my clinic and we notified Animal Control in case her owner was looking for her. Once her 30 day hold was complete, she received vaccines, and I spayed her. Fremont is currently being fostered with one of my staff.

Did you know that in the United States over five million dogs and cats entered shelters in 2019? (per statistics collected by Best Friends Animal Society) Of these abandoned pets, approximately 1,700 were killed per day. Sadly, these shocking statistics are an improvement from previous years. Our home state of California leads the number of shelter deaths in our entire nation. So, what can be done?

First, seriously consider pet ownership. Adopting a pet comes with a lot of responsibility and expense. Pets need a nutritionally balanced diet, routine veterinary care such as vaccines and flea prevention, and emergency care when an unexpected illness or injury occurs. Many people save for months to purchase an expensive purebred puppy and fail to consider the cost of its care. According to the American Kennel Club, the cost of annual veterinary care depending on location and care needed can range between $700 and $1,500. Families should consider this aspect of pet ownership prior to adopting.

Next, it is important to spay and neuter. Did you know that Kings County is a mandatory spay/neuter county. This means that a breeder permit must be acquired if you own an intact animal. Spaying and neutering is especially important for outdoor cats, even if your cat is a male, he is contributing to the unwanted pet population. And remember, cats are euthanized in shelters at a much higher rate than dogs, approximately four cats to one dog. In addition to decreasing the numbers of unwanted pets, spaying and neutering helps with unwanted pregnancies and behaviors. Some pet owners cannot afford surgery at a veterinary hospital, so if you need low cost spay and neutering services, please contact Kings County Animal Control. There are programs that can assist those in need.

Finally, adopt don't shop. Look for a reputable rescue. Make sure that puppies/dogs have received appropriate vaccines, appear healthy, and have normal stools (since parvo is common in our county). When adopting a cat or kitten, ask for the results of a Feline Triple test (to rule out feline leukemia and feline AIDS). Additionally, make sure the kitten's eyes and nose are free of discharge or "boogers." Once you have chosen your pet, visit your veterinarian immediately. It is important to assure the pet is healthy and establish a relationship with a veterinarian, just like you would find a pediatrician for your child.

If we all work together, we can reduce the unwanted pet population. So, spay or neuter and adopt don't shop! This Valentine's Day, if you are looking for a new addition to your family, please consider Fremont. She is housebroken, loves children, gets along with other dogs, but hates cats. If you are interested, she would love to be your Valentine. For more information email kkvetservices@gmail.com or call 559-997-1121.