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Animal Welfare Activities Of A Pet For Life, Inc.


Veterinary Treatment:  All animals rescued by APFL receive veterinary care, including emergency care, vaccinations, and spaying / neutering.  Normally, the first step in A Pet For Life, Inc.'s caring for an animal entering our rescue is a visit with a veterinarian, unless current medical records are provided and verified.  APFL has also been a resource for financial assistance to needy pet owners with insufficient funds for veterinary treatment.

Sheltering:  A Pet For Life, Inc. typically provides housing for approximately twelve dogs and twenty-five cats at its facility in Salisbury, Maryland.  APFL provides safe, clean and comfortable accommodations.  Cats are generally allowed to roam freely within the facility.  Dogs are walked regularly.  Because the facility is adjacent to Pat's home, it can be monitored twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week.  Rescued animals are provided with housing in a loving environment for an unlimited period of time.  Euthanasia is used only as a last resort, e.g., to reduce suffering in cases of terminal illness.

Adoption:  A Pet For Life, Inc. seeks caring, responsible homes for the animals it rescues.  The pet's temperament and any special needs are considered in evaluating an applicant for adoption.  Potential adopters are interviewed and are required to sign a contract {copy available} in which they agree to basic standards of care.  A waiting period, follow-up calls and visits are practiced regularly.  APFL does not charge an adoption fee, but does accept donations to help offset expenses.  If an adoption is not successful, the animal must be returned to A Pet For Life, Inc.

Reduction in Pet Overpopulation:  A Pet For Life, Inc. strongly supports prevention of unwanted litters.  All animals sheltered by APFL are altered. 

Opposing Animal Abuse:  A Pet For Life, Inc. reports cases of animal abuse to proper authorities and assists authorities, when appropriate, in prosecuting those guilty of animal abuse.  APFL may provide eyewitness testimony, evidential photographs, or testimony at legal proceedings.

Therapy Placement:  A Pet For Life, Inc. believes that companion animals can provide therapy in various settings and welcomes inquiries for placement.  APFL has placed two dogs in the geriatric unit of the McCready Memorial Hospital in Crisfield, Maryland.

Networking:  A Pet For Life, Inc. maintains and develops working relationships with other animal rescue organizations, such as humane societies and veterinary clinics.  APFL also has a longstanding relationship with Defenders of Animal Rights in Phoenix, Maryland.

Why We Crate Our Dogs

Due to recent criticism concerning our practice of crating dogs in our care, we would like to address this issue.  For many of the animals coming to us, this is possibly their last opportunity to find a “forever home” due to their lack of proper manners, training, or social skills needed for placement with a family.  Many are not housebroken, are compulsive chewers, or are excessive barkers.  Because of the extensive time, energy, and patience necessary to teach these dogs acceptable behaviors, many people are unable or unwilling to make such a long-term investment.

Many of these dogs come to us with an unknown history; therefore, it is necessary to have a restricted and closely controlled environment for their protection and the safety of our other animals and ourselves.  This involves crating all of our dogs.  We establish a routine for them, taking them out four times a day, and feeding them on a regular schedule.  During these interactive periods, we come to understand the immediate needs of each individual animal, discovering the behaviors needing to be changed or modified, such as improper leash manners, aggression toward other animals, and fear issues.  We also get to know each dog’s personality, determining his attitude with regard to issues he will face in a new home environment.  The knowledge we learn from this regimented environment will allow us to properly choose the right family most in line with the needs of the dog.

Crating a dog is extremely safe for him, protecting him from unnecessary or unexpected dangers.  Many of these dogs come to see their crate as a safe haven.  A dog who has been crate-trained is less of a worry when an owner needs to leave home because the dog won’t accidentally get into something harmful to him, such as electrical cords, garbage, or other dangerous substances.

Because of so many unknowns involved with many of our rescues, crating is a necessity for the dog’s safety, as well as the safety to our other animals and to us.  Their stay with us is meant to be a temporary residence for necessary behavioral improvements needed for placement with a family.  Our rescue operation deals with many dogs who have very little chance of having a “forever home” without our efforts in training and socializing them to become the perfect pet.  When we place a dog in a new home, we want the dog and the family to be the best match possible.

We do welcome suggestions from others, but this is the best way we’ve found to handle our dogs, both safely and successfully.

Comments Concerning Crating

After reading on this website about the crating issue, I feel that I have to comment.  I sometimes have a hard time seeing the positive of many issues in life too; however, if APFL decides to crate the dogs while in their care, I say it is fine.  I would like to point out that the dogs are in a temperature controlled facility and not lying on concrete in the baking sun or freezing under a bush trying to stay warm like my dog, Dixie, was before she was saved.  At least the dogs are not being kept out back on a chain with a pronged collar around it's neck like Champ (available for adoption) was before coming to APFL.  At least the dogs are being fed nutritious meals and are receiving vaccinations rather than lying around starving with flies biting at its ears like Princess (click on the Rescue Reality link on home page).  The dogs are walked or let outside in the fenced area four times a day. I could go on and on....  APFL is always trying to upgrade the facilities as they are able to afford.  I am proud to say that the four (soon to be five) dogs that I have adopted from APFL have been very well cared for and loved while at the facility.  I honestly don't feel like I can criticize anyone for saving animals in a shelter situation when I can't do it myself.  I appreciate any shelter that does what they do daily for the animals.  The animals at APFL are truly loved.  I have four dogs to prove that!  So, next time you want to criticize, think of what could be.  Or, you could put your efforts where you mouth is and start a shelter of your own.  Thank you.  
Anneliese and Matt Davis ~ November 4, 2008

The Operating Area Of A Pet For Life, Inc.

A Pet For Life, Inc. normally operates in Wicomico, Worcester, Somerset, and Dorchester Counties in Maryland; Sussex County in Delaware; and Accomack County in Virginia.  APFL's efforts are not limited to these areas, however, as demonstrated by its rescue of two dogs left homeless by Hurricane Katrina.

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