Please come join us and meet our many dogs and cats for adoption at the Cookeville Petco store, 377 W Jackson St #11, Cookeville, TN 38501. We will be at Petco from 12-5pm on November 8th. Volunteers welcome!
Archive | News
By Maggie B.
Most of my time spent writing about animals is telling you reasons why you should adopt an animal, but sometimes, we also need to remember the situations in which it is better NOT to get a pet. Below I have written about some situations you might find yourself in where it is a better choice not to get the pet, or at least, consider the situation heavily before you do get the pet. And the reason I am writing about it is because these are the people who wind up surrendering their animals back to the shelters, which takes away valuable time it could have spent looking for its true forever home (especially when people adopt tiny puppies and surrender them as grown dogs!). Not all animal surrenders are made by people who hate animals and had malicious intent–sometimes, you find yourself in an unpredictable, unavoidable situation, and we understand this, but sometimes, of course, the entire situation could have been avoided with a little forethought. So take a look if you are considering getting a pet; it is a huge decision and definitely not one that should be made lightly!
1. If you are allergic to animals, do not adopt one. You might be able to deal with itchy, watery eyes once in a while, but when it’s a day-in, day-out, 24/7 for the rest of the dog’s life thing, it will be unbearable, no matter how much you love animals. Stick to living vicariously through a friend’s dog, and get a fish.
2. If you live with a roommate that you do not intend to live with forever, do not adopt a dog together. You might think that in this situation, people parting ways would both want the dog, but unfortunately what happens more often than not is that neither person wants the dog and had counted on the other person to take it. If you live with a roommate and definitely want a dog, make sure you have a definite plan for which one will take the dog if your living situation changes.
3. If you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant, heavily consider how a new dog will fit in with a new baby. If you think you might feel like the dog will threaten the baby in any way, do not get one.
4. For that matter, if you think you might have kids at any point during this dog’s lifetime, really think about what dog you are getting. If the dog is not good with kids, you might think that since you don’t have kids right now, it will be okay. But if you are planning on having kids 10 years from now, what could likely happen is that you will wind up surrendering a senior dog. Dogs that are not kid-friendly are best for people who do not have kids and never plan on it, or whose kids are already grown (and who do not have grandkids, either!).
5. If you are in any kind of sketchy situation financially, it is not a good time to adopt a dog. First of all, dogs are not free to feed. But secondly, even if you can afford to feed it, are you going to be able to afford emergency medical care in the case of an accident? Unfortunately, dogs are much more likely to be in life-threatening accidents than people are. Are you financially able to see to it that your dog is not in pain, and what’s more, to see to it that your animal does not get the death sentence from a simple broken leg because your financial situation forces you to pick euthanasia over routine medical care? And even if you choose to provide medical care for your animal, is that choice going to force your family to do without things they need? If so, it is not a good time to adopt a dog. The first clue is always the adoption fee. If you feel like you cannot afford the adoption fee, unfortunately, you probably cannot afford to have the dog.
6. If you are planning on moving at any point during the dog’s lifetime, are you prepared to find a home that will allow your pet to come with you? The NUMBER ONE reason we hear for people surrendering their animals is that they are moving and cannot take the animal along.
7. And on that note, before you adopt an animal, you must be certain that your landlord allows animals! (This is why we always ask for their phone number). We cannot tell you how many times we have heard, “Well, technically animals aren’t allowed, but the landlord won’t care.” Well, even if he doesn’t care right now, he could, at any point, decide to care, and if your lease says that you are not allowed to have animals, he is well within his legal rights to force you to either give up your pet or give up your home. This is not a choice you want to have to make.
8. If you are ill or elderly, or both, you will want to heavily consider whether or not adopting an animal is the right choice for you. We understand that if you are sick, you might find comfort in having a pet. Just make sure that if the time comes that you are unable to care for your pet, you have already made other arrangements for it, such as by ensuring that a friend or family member will take on the responsibility of caring for your pet (for the rest of its life). It is heartbreaking for an elderly or sick person to have to surrender their animal to a shelter, not because they don’t love the dog, but because they cannot take care of it any longer, but no one in their family will step up to do it either (And yes, it happens more than you would think).
9. Pets should never be gifts, unless the pet is for your child, AND you will personally be the one who is responsible for the pet. Now, this is not to say that you cannot pay the adoption fee for someone as a gift; however, whoever is getting the animal absolutely needs to be the one to pick it out and pick it up! Choosing an animal to care for for its entire life is a personal choice that should only be made by the person who will keep the pet. If you pick out someone else’s pet, what if you pick one they would not have picked personally? And, pets should NEVER EVER be a surprise! If you are planning on surprising someone with a pet, what if they did not want one?! Don’t do it. Finally, even if the pet is a gift for your child, avoid it as a holiday present. Why? Because it is easy to get in the spirit of giving during the holidays, and while this in and of itself is noble and good, it also means that you might make hasty purchases that were ultimately unnecessary, and those gifts wind up being returned. This is fine if it’s a sweater, not fine if it’s an animal. That said, we love for our pets to go home for the holidays, and we are certainly not saying that you shouldn’t adopt just because it’s the holiday season. But just make sure that this decision is made carefully, with plenty of time and thought put into it. (As a matter of fact, this should always be the case, no matter what time of year it is!).
10. Finally, do not adopt a pet just because you feel sorry for it. It’s a very sweet sentiment, but ultimately the wrong decision if you do not really, really want the pet. Unless you are truly prepared to care for the pet for the rest of its life, it is better to leave it for someone else. You do not want to make a decision you will soon regret just because the animal tugged on your heartstrings. If the animal is in a no-kill shelter, it will find someone. If the animal is in a kill-shelter, you might want to consider fostering it until it can find a permanent home. Also consider donating to or volunteering for an animal shelter if you really want to help out but are not fully prepared to adopt. Now, of course, if you feel sorry for the animal, but you also think you will feel a connection and love for it and absolutely want to care for it for the rest of its life, then go right ahead! Go you! But don’t make a hasty decision–because those wind up being bad decisions.
Breed: Australian Cattle Dog/ Blue Heeler Mix
Age: 2 Years
Weight: 39 Pounds
Activity level: Sweet Pea has a medium energy level. She loves to run around and play with toys, but she is also perfectly content to pile up on the couch for a nap on a rainy day!
Temperament: Sweet Pea is incredibly loving, and she adores being petted and cuddled on any and all occasions. Sweet Pea can be a tad shy around new people, so she will definitely need an adjustment period. (And really, who among us doesn’t like to take a little time to get to know people before we trust them??) However, once she gets to know you, she will be your girl for life!
Good with kids?: Yes; however, since she is just a little afraid of loud noises, perhaps she would be better suited to calm, older children rather than kids who love to roughhouse.
Good with other pets?: Yes! Sweet Pea is around other pets at our adoption events every weekend and does just fine! In fact, she would love to go to a home that has another dog for her to play with!
Ideal family: While Sweet Pea would be fine for a family with older, calmer children, her ideal family would probably be a couple or single person without children. It takes her a while to adjust to new things, and sometimes kids do not quiet understand that. But one thing is for sure, when Sweet Pea finds the right family, we know they will love her so much they will just never want to let her go!
Ideal day: Sweet Pea would love to wake up to some morning snuggles, then enjoy some great playtime with her favorite toy (which is elk antlers, in case you were wondering), followed by some awesome dreams about chasing elk-like fauna in some afternoon naps, being petted and adored with cuddles and love snuggles before dinner, tossing the ball around before bed, and finally, falling asleep with the family she knows is hers forever.
Attention level required: Sweet Pea loves to play, but she is also crate trained, which means she will happily occupy herself quietly while you are off at work. Until you know how she will adjust to a new environment, Sweet Pea will do best in a restricted area while she is alone (just so as she does not decide to “occupy herself quietly” with destructive behaviors!).
Housetrained?: Yes, just remember to give her enough time to adjust to her new home! Sweet Pea does very well on a schedule, so she would do great with someone who can give her consistency.
Space needed: Sweet Pea is a medium sized dog who enjoys running around, so she needs at least a medium-sized space to fit her nicely. Because Sweet Pea came from an unfortunate situation where she was tied up for her entire life, we are requiring that her new home have a completely fenced in yard so this never happens to her again!
Previous experience needed?: Sweet Pea would be great for someone who has experience with dogs, particularly with her breed. While herding is a super-cute tendency for experienced dog owners, it can be a little much to handle for someone who is unfamiliar with the breed.
The best thing about Sweet Pea: Sweet Pea’s foster mom says her favorite thing about Sweet Pea is how incredibly loving she is; it is truly just beautiful how much love she has to give! Sweet Pea also has a very soulful face (with the most gorgeous brown eyes you have ever seen!!). Her colors are simply stunning, and she has the cutest little markings on her feet that make her look like she is wearing socks! She is also in the uber-cute habit of standing on her hind legs and dancing!! Seriously, how could you not want this dog? She is just an amazing little critter! You will be amazed at how much love this girl can pack into her 39-pound body. So come meet this beautiful angel, and let her show you how wonderful life can really be!
To meet, inquire about, or fill out an adoption form for Sweet Pea, please visit aarf-tn.com/. Additionally, Sweet Pea will be at the Cookeville Petco on March 16, 2013, from 12-6!!
A.A.R.F. Board of Directors is pleased to announce the 2012 Animal Stats
Died in Our Care: 4
AARF started operations in June 2007. Since that time, stats are as follows:
Euthanized: 6 (Veterinary Recommendation Only)
Died in Our Care: 36
Breed: Yorkshire Terrier (Purebred!)
Weight: 7.5 Pounds
Age: 10 years
Special Considerations: Teensie is a senior pet, which means she needs someone with a great big heart to take her in! But don’t worry—even though she is a senior, based on the way she acts, you would never know it! She is so full of life, and she prances just like a puppy (on her most adorable tiny feet)! She has a clean bill of health from the veterinarian, who still can’t believe she is actually 10 years old. Bonus: Yorkshire Terriers are one of the longest-lived breeds of dogs, usually living well into the teen years. So this baby has a long life ahead of her!
Activity level: Teensie has a mild energy level. She actually loves her little walks, but she isn’t necessarily interested in training for any marathons!
Temperament: Teensie is incredibly loving! She adores everyone, and she is one of the kindest dogs you will ever meet. Despite her tiny diva-like appearance, Teensie is actually very down to earth…she is not an attention seeker, and she is perfectly content to just sit beside you quietly rather than being held constantly. She is also very quiet and rarely even barks!
Good with kids?: Yes! Teensie is very gentle, and she would be the perfect addition to a family with kids, as long as kids are taught to be equally as gentle!
Good with other pets?: Yes! Teensie is currently being fostered with other pets, and she is around any and all kinds of them at our adoption events and does just fine!
Ideal family: Teensie would make a wonderful pet for a family with children! Can you imagine a better way to teach kids about compassion and empathy than by rescuing a senior pet? She is so gentle and so loving, there simply could be no better addition to the family! Teensie would also make an absolute perfect companion for anyone who is just looking for a sweetheart to share their love with! And, for some reason, Teensie just adores men! This chickadee is just one cool little dog, and there’s no rulebook that says teacup pups are in any way unmanly!
Ideal day: Teensie would love to begin her day with some warm morning cuddles, followed by breakfast and a short walk. She will occupy herself quietly while you go to work, and give you the warmest welcome on her tiny prancing feet when you come home! She will sit beside you adoringly while you catch up on your reading of any and all James Patterson novels, and finally, she will show off her cuteness of the highest degree when her sweet little face closes its eyes to rest up for another fun day of wiggles and cutiepootery!
Attention level required: Teensie loves to be adored and petted, but she will be perfectly content to rest up fully for these things while you are off at work! (Just bring home a treat for Teensie, maybe?).
Housetrained?: Teensie is paper trained; however, because she came from a home where her elderly owner was not able to take her outside properly, she will need some extra attention when it comes to housetraining. So be patient, and she will get the hang of it in no time!
Space needed: Not a whole lot! Teensie is…well, teensie, so she would fit perfectly in a small apartment.
Previous experience needed?: The only thing Teensie needs a little extra help with is housetraining. Other than that, there is no reason why she would need an “experienced” dog owner. In fact, Teensie’s foster mom says she is one of the easiest dogs to care for she has ever had!
The best thing about Teensie: Teensie’s foster mom says her favorite thing about Teensie is that she just has tons of personality! She is so very loving, and she is so full of life! Teensie has an incredibly soulful face, and she has the most adorable little overbite you have ever seen! Her look is just as unique as her personality, and the overall combo just makes for one perfect little dog! As hard as we try, words simply cannot describe how wonderful this dog is! You simply have to meet her! Just one look into this sweet face, and your heart will swell to three times its normal size! (Trust us, it has happened to us already!) And the best part is, adopting a senior like Teensie will truly be one of the most rewarding experiences of your entire life.
Thanks to the support of the PETCO foundation, A.A.R.F. has purchased a transport vehicle to assist in relocating animals from the full shelters in the upper cumberland to empty shelters in the north. Thanks to Cookeville Nissan’s Jeff Lichtle for his awesome service and the GREAT DEAL we received on this van! We will be having the van wrapped shortly!
A BIG THANKS to The PETCO Foundation for their MORE than GENEROUS $45,000 contribution to fund the beginning of our northern transort program. Letters of recommendation written by Store Manager Kelly Darty, Assistant Store Manager Megan Arnold and staff at PETCO store 1637 – our grant request was approved, and we are in receipt of the funds for our transport vehicle.
We expect to transport approximately 3000 animals a year out of the Upper Cumberland to Empty Shelters in the north. If you operate a rescue or shelter in the 14 counties within the upper cumberland and need transport assistance, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Cumberland County Animal Control, Cumberland County Sheriff’s Department and the Humane Society of the United Stated led the effort yesterday to rescue 33+ dogs from a suspect hoarding case in Cumberland County. A.A.R.F. was called late Monday asking for assistance with this case. Jennifer Farley and Linda Randall were on the scene for most of the day yesterday, assisting with socializing dogs and rescuing 7 dogs into the A.A.R.F. program. The worst case, “Windy”, is a white pit bull mix who is severely underweight, malnourished, covered in gashes, and has a serious bacterial skin infection. Windy was thought to be 19 years old as stated by the property owners. Upon further investigation by Dr. Barker with Copeland Veterinary Hospital, also on the scene, it was determined that Windy is just 2 years young! Jackie Baker with Wags and Whiskers Spay Neuter Advocates is fostering her at the present time. Others rescued are Bucky, a male beagle hound mix; Daisy Dukes, a female chihuahua; Roxy, a female brindle feist mix; Piper, a female black and white boxer mix; Xorro, a male black and tan chihuahua; and Buck, a male deer chihuahua.
We are in need of financial support to pay for the needed veterinary care for these animals. Please visit www.aarf-tn.com/donate to make your tax deductible donations to assist these animals in getting the care that they need.
Charity is a sweet 5 year young female maltese mix that found in rural white county. She arrived at the shelter there, and Shelter Manager Ronni Connely called in a panic, asking for assistance. Charity was transported to us immediately. Upon evaluation, we confirmed that Charity had chewed part of her leg completely off. She was covered in matts, had multiple flea and bug colonies living in her coat – but when our director picked her up, she cradled up against her and sighed a big, heavy sigh…as if she knew she was now safe.
Charity went to see Dr. Parker with Best Friends Veterinary Hospital, where it was determined that the leg was severely infected and most of the leg would need to be removed. In addition, she would need a complete dental as her teeth were in terrible shape, along with the standard spay protocol that A.A.R.F. has. Ironically, she was already spayed as discovered by Dr. Parker prior to cutting her open!
Charity recovered from her surgery and became best friends with the Best Friends Staff! She is very loveable and sweet, and loves to snuggle against you and be carried around. A.A.R.F. received our $600+ bill and began fundraising plans to save enough money to pay it.
Shortly thereafter, the Doctor watched Charity walk for the first time since removing her leg – and her achilles tendon in her other leg is not functioning properly. We are now trying to determine if it is in Charity’s best interest to have a surgical procedure which “freezes” the tendon in place, or if she should just live out the remainder of her life walking as she does. The surgery is very expensive and will require a lot of after care. In addition, she will need a wheelchair to get around (a generous donation offer made by Ann Fisher - “THANK YOU!”).
But regardless of what is done, we must first raise the funds to pay for the original procedure of $605.00. If you would like to contribute to Charity’s fund, please click the link below to make your tax deductible donation. As usual, A.A.R.F. puts every penny received directly towards the animals and their care. This is by far one of the worst cases we’ve seen, and we need your help to continue saving these lives.
OR – you can drop a donation off at PETCO in Cookeville, TN on Saturday Noon until 6PM.
OR – you can drop a donation off at the Fairfield Glade Arts & Crafts Show in FFG this Saturday and Sunday (5/26-5/27) – Look for the AARF booths!
OR – you can pay on our bill at BEST FRIENDS VETERINARY HOSPITAL in the KROGER Shopping center.
Any amount is appreciated and will help. You can mail your donations to:
P.O. Box 4074 ~ Cookeville, TN 38502
Or email for more information email@example.com
A.A.R.F. and Charity Appreciate your support!