Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Interview Wednesday - Moving with SIX pets

We're going to start addressing the top reasons that people give their pets to the shelters in our Wednesday interviews. There is a misconception that shelter pets are bad pets, damaged goods. In reality, the majority of them are there because they didn't luck out in the owner lotto. The reasons given weren't the pets fault. Let's start by addressing the number one excuse we hear at the shelter.

The number one reason is MOVING.

Karen Schei Donovan was kind enough to answer our interview questions today. She has recently moved.

How many pets do you have?

I have six pets. Four dogs, one cat and a mini pot belly pig.

Kiara (Shepard Collie Mix)

Bolt (Border Collie)

Belle (Border Collie)

Jasper (Border Collie)

Spooky (cat)

Daisey (pig)

Bolt and Belle are married (yes, we even had a ceremony) and they are mom and dad to Jasper. Jasper and Daisey are best buddies and have even been found cuddling. Kiara is a beautiful “Aunt” and the matriarch of the pack. Spooky does not appreciate the rest of them much and he lives in a separate part of the house.

We're not supposed to have favorite pets, but we usually do. Does each family member seem to favor a different pet? Is there one that each of you are closer to?

Yes, it is true. Although we love them all very much, we do each have a pet that is closest to our hearts. Kiara is the family pet but the others each “belong” to someone. Bolt is my 13 year-old daughters dog. Jasper is Hunter’s dog. Belle is the rescue that adopted me. And I have to be honest, my heart melts for my piggy, Daisey. Not to leave Spooky out. He lives in my room but he is my daughter’s cat and she adores him too.
Bailey and Daisey

How do you manage a multi-pet household?

I have learned to live in total chaos. The dogs are very high energy and all of my pets are indoor animals. In fact, Daisey even has her own bedroom. We have to let them out either 1-2 at a time or we have to go out with them all. It is especially difficult in the rainy season as they love to play in the mud (the dogs, not Daisey). Feeding time is also a time we need to be careful. Bolt will bark for us to feed them but he then waits until his family has finished eating before he begins. Daisey must be put away when the dogs are fed or else she would bully them out of their food and probably end up weighing 300 pounds! Having a multi-pet household is definitely a challenge but I wouldn’t have it any other way.

The number one reason for relinquishing pets to the shelter (dogs, cats, AND pigs!) is WE'RE MOVING AND WE CAN'T TAKE THE PETS. Does this work for you?

No! I recently found myself in a position where I had to move out my home where I had lived for the past 21 years. I had to find a house to rent that would keep my kids in the same school district and a house that would allow for my menagerie of animals. It was no easy task but there was absolutely no way I was going to leave any of my animals as they are our family.

Your dogs are what would be considered "large dogs" by most landlords and management companies. Did you have a problem finding a place?

Yes, it was difficult. We were very fortunate to have found the home we are in now. It is all tile downstairs and wood upstairs. The backyard has plenty of room for the animals to run and play. It is like they have their own dog park! Our landlord was very understanding and even lowered the pet deposit since it was originally $300 per pet. So, although it isn’t easy, there are people out there willing to accommodate pets.

That's a lot of pets to move with! How did the move go? Was it hard settling in to the new place or did they adjust quickly?

Kiara had the most trouble with the move because she hates hard floors. She would often have to be carried off the couch because she was afraid to get down and would whimper. It took her about 3 weeks to get used to the floors. The other animals adapted very quickly.

Any advice for people moving with pets?

It is worth the extra trouble to look for a place that will allow multiple pets. There are places out there so don’t give up! Your pets are your family. I would highly recommend looking for a pet friendly home so you do not have to worry so much about any damage. We were very happy to not have carpet any longer. I would also move them over after much of your belongings are in place so it looks a little more familiar to them and they have your smells.


Thank you, Karen!

What about you - have you ever had to move with pets? Have you struggled to find a new place that was pet friendly?


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