Kitten breeding season nears as weather warms up

This may seem like a morbid question, but have any of you noticed how many dead skunks are out there on the roads lately? It seems like I’m seeing at least one or two everywhere I drive. Last week, there were four between the Route 55 exit on Garden Road and the drive down Delsea to the mall.We haven’t been able to gauge the beginning of spring by the weather this year because of the all the mild days we’ve had, but the fact that the skunks are on the move is a sure sign that the change of season is coming.That said, I just want to take this opportunity to remind our readers of several things that come with spring.First and foremost, skunks aren’t the only creatures out there that are ‘lookin’ to hook up.’ Breeding season for many of our furry friends will most probably get a jump start this year because of the mild temperatures. If you have cats of your own, or in your neighborhood, that are unaltered, please make arrangements to have them fixed or call your local animal control to gather them up before they start to reproduce.If you find that one of the neighborhood strays has gifted you a litter of kittens under your porch or behind your shed, please try to socialize them as soon as possible and get them to us before they become feral. At the Cumberland County Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, we have a great transfer program with several other high adoption volume shelters. So, if you’re able to socialize and care for the kittens until they’re 6 to 8 week sold, we have a good chance of getting them a home … at least until summer, when the numbers can become overwhelming. The ideal thing is to prevent the litters by spaying and neutering. Our low-cost clinic is always available to help make that affordable.Greta (Photo: CCSPCA)Secondly, as I discussed in a previous column, time is running short for obtaining a current dog and or cat license. March 31 is the last day you can register your pet without having to pay a late fee. There are seven free rabies vaccine clinics left this year for you to take advantage of if your pet isn’t up to date. There are clinics coming up in Bridgeton, Hopewell, Commercial, Cedarville, Maurice River, Deerfield and at the county fairgrounds. Check with your municipal building or the Cumberland County Health Department for dates and times.We also have some fun stuff to look forward to. Next week, on March 10, we have our annual St. Pawtrick’s Day Celebration at Kavanagh’s Irish Pub & Grill in Malaga. Their staff works for more than a month in advance to collect donations for our animals and puts on a super-fun evening with raffle prizes, live entertainment and, of course, great food and libations.We’re also about to kick off our annual Dog of the Year contest. It may not be quite the entertaining circus that this year’s presidential election is proving to be, but at least you can be assured that a good guy (or girl) is going to win! We need 12 dogs who have been adopted through us to compete, and there are a few spots left if you think your mutt is worthy of the title. It’s a fun campaign, and the real winners are the countless homeless animals who benefit from the funds raised by pets that once were in that same desperate situation.Please go to our website at southjerseyregionalanimalshelter.org to make spay or neuter appointments, get details on the Dog of the Year contest and to check out our calendar of events.Shelter needsThe CCSPCA shelter in Vineland seeks donations of kitten and puppy chow, dog treats, cat and dog toys, leashes and collars, peanut butter, hot dogs, paper towels, cat litter and copy paper. It also requests gift cards from grocery, pet supply and hardware stores.April  CCSPCAFullscreen Next SlideSt. Pawtrick’s DayThe annual St. Pawtrick’s Day celebration will be held from 6 to 11 p.m. March 10 at Kavanagh’s Irish Pub & Grill, 326 Dutch Mill Road, Malaga. For more information, contact Stefanie at 856-649-5484.Pets of the WeekLuigi is a friendly and fun-loving 2½-year-old pit mix. He is good with other dogs, but would not do well in a home with cats.Shyla is a lively 8-month-old Lab and pit mix pup. She is a happy, friendly girl with loads of love to give.Paisley is a darling 1-year-old pit mix. She is a comical girl who is a real love bug once she gets comfortable with you. She can be a little timid, so grabby toddlers would not be a good match for her, but older kids should be OK.Greta is a 6-year-old dachshund that came to us as a very thin and frightened stray. Greta is very sweet, good-natured and quiet. She is diabetic, and her condition will need monitoring by your vet. Greta is currently being cared for in one of our foster homes.Diego is a nice 6-year-old terrier mix. He looks like he may have some Scottish terrier or Cairn terrier in his background. Diego just needs a good grooming and some tender loving care, and he will be the handsomest dog on the block.Dori is a darling 4-year-old American bulldog. She is a sweet g

Source: Kitten breeding season nears as weather warms up

‘Peanut butter’ cat draws interest at shelter

VINELAND – The Cumberland County Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals says it’s too soon to know what will happen to a young cat rescued in Millville after spending four days with its head jammed in an empty peanut butter jar.

The cat was a habitual visitor to Oakview Apartments in Millville, where its dilemma was noticed last week. A resident called city animal control officer Anthony Cills on Tuesday to catch and free it. And that’s what happened that day, with assistance from Millville veterinarian Kevin Ludwig.

It was off to the SPCA in Vineland next, hopefully for a short stay and an adoption. But as of Friday, it still remained to be seen if the 3-year-old cat ends up in a home.

Bev Greco, executive director, said “Skippy” is healthy but needs to gain a little weight after going so long without being able to eat or drink. And she needs to relax.

“She’s pretty terrified,” Greco said. “She wants to run from you even when you walk to the cage. We’ve had a couple people come by to inquire about her but we do not have any applications, yet.”

Greco said the cat does not appear to be feral.

 “She needs to calm down for a few days before we can tell how friendly she is, or not,” she said. “She’s a beautiful cat. She’s a long-haired, charcoal gray.”

 

Source: ‘Peanut butter’ cat draws interest at shelter

3 amazing puppies at Cumberland County SPCA

And the puppy saga continues.What a crazy couple of months it has been! Let’s flash back to a couple of weeks ago, when I told you about a little pup named Wiley E. who was found trotting across Route 49 in Fairfield. That was on Jan. 11, and some of my staff and I as well as the animal control officer went out and scoured the area for the rest of his litter without success. What we did find was the body of the mother dog, which had been hit by a car. We tried everything we could to get the word out to the local residents that we were in search of the litter and to please call us if they had any sightings. After a week with no sign and no word of the remaining pups, we could only hope that someone had picked them up and was caring for them.Lo and behold, nearly three weeks later a gentleman called saying he had found the pups that we were searching for. They were just a few doors down from the spot on the road where Wiley E. was found. The resident there found the pups scrounging around his backyard, trying to get into his trash. One of our investigators raced out to the property and found the three little fuzzballs, but they were not exactly cooperative about being rounded up. With the man’s help, she was able to secure the pups in his shed until she could get back with crates to transport themTimber (Photo: CCSPCA)When she returned, she was perplexed to find no sign of them in the shed where she had left them. She was just about to walk out when our other staff member caught some movement out of the corner of her eye. The pups had climbed up into a riding mower to hide from their potential captors!So these pups, no more than 11 weeks old at the most, survived for three weeks with no mother, no real source of food and through the blizzard conditions. Absolutely amazing! They are now safely tucked away in foster homes where they are being nourished, socialized and spoiled to prepare them for adoption.There’s also one more tale of survival that has us all astounded. Last week, a lady brought in a tiny pup that she had found outside her home. The poor thing was bleeding profusely from wounds around his head and neck, and she feared he had been hit by a car. Our vet got him shaved down and cleaned up, and found that he had deep puncture wounds on his neck and lacerations in his ears. Apparently he had been attacked by a larger dog. Our little Lamb Chop will need some continuing vet care but is expected to recover fully. The fact that he survived what must have been a brutal attack is truly amazing. He’s a feisty little guy who, in spite of his traumatic encounter, still loves other dogs. He’s made fast friends with my other foster pup and shows no fear of my big dogs. He is very affectionate and will be a great companion to whoever is lucky enough to take him home.Bolt (Photo: CCSPCA)Shelter needsThe Cumberland County Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals shelter in Vineland seeks donations of dry puppy and kitten food, hot dogs, cheese singles, large chews/chew toys for dogs, dryer sheets and paper towels. It also seeks gift cards from grocery, pet supply and hardware stores

Source: 3 amazing puppies at Cumberland County SPCA

Gracie Goes Home

Sometimes they come in droves, sometimes they come in dribs and drabs; this winter the puppies have come in one or two at a time, usually with a couple of weeks in between. When ‘Amazing Grace’ came to us seven weeks ago I had just come off two unsuccessful attempts to save infant pups. So many times when infants are somehow separated from their mothers within the first few days of birth, there is an underlying health issue that doesn’t reveal itself right away. Having lost the other pups, although I didn’t hesitate, it was stressful taking Gracie on, especially with her two brushes with death within the first week. Once she got past that though, she grew and matured beautifully.

Having published her story, the little pup got lots of attention and inquiries about her progress and her adoption status. The first people that contacted me just happened to be within our own foster network; having seen pictures and read the story of Gracie, they were immediately smitten with the tiny pup. They had been checking in with me regularly and last week they asked if they could finish out her fostering until she could be officially adopted. Even knowing what a wonderful home she was going to, it was really hard to let her go. Having ministered to her every need, carrying her around like a human baby and suffering the emotional ups and downs of her infancy, our attachment to her was intense. In the long run though, it was best for Gracie to go before she became any more entrenched in my family and best for us so as not to become even more invested in her. In order to be a successful foster home, you have to be able to give them up when they are ready for adoption, otherwise you end up with too many of your own and not enough time or resources to help those in need.

And so, last Saturday, we made our bittersweet goodbyes and Gracie was off to her fur-ever home. She’ll back to be spayed in a couple of weeks and then her final adoption will be complete. I am happy to report that she has a new best friend, a very active young dog named ‘Tucker’ that was much in need of a playmate, and Stogie. Her new family fell in love with her before they even left the shelter with her and our little miracle girl has a wonderful life ahead of her.

As I said, Gracie left us on Saturday, and then, before I had even had a chance to put all her ‘baby gear’ away, along came the next needy little soul. A very nice lady from Fairfield walked into our lobby with what looked like a baby groundhog at first glance. She had found the little pup crossing the very busy Route 49 all by himself on Saturday afternoon. ‘Wiley E.’, as he was affectionately named by our vet techs, is just a little puff of fur that looks like a cross between a coyote and a groundhog! Scared to death and too young to be in the kennels, I once again ended up with a foster pup. Fortunately, this little guy is about eight weeks old and will be ready to be adopted at the end of the week.

There are many people that fear that they would not be able to foster animals because they would be unable to give them up when they are ready for adoption. As difficult as it is sometimes, it is stories like that of Gracie that make it all worthwhile. Saving her life, witnessing her progress, seeing her go off to a loving home is all the reward I need to keep my ‘revolving door’ open to whatever comes my way. How about you? Call Jess at (856)691-1500 ext. 115 for more information on becoming a pet foster parent.

Gracie Continues To Improve

On Christmas Day, we estimate Gracie would be 28 days old and finally, after her VERY rough beginning, she has been truly thriving for the past week and a half. She was able to completely recover from aspirating her formula without coming down with pneumonia. Her skin, which had several spots that were affected by some sort of infection, has made a full turn around and the fur is growing back nicely. At her last weigh in she tipped the scales at 3.9 pounds!

We’re happy to report that she has also had some developmental milestones this week! On day twelve she began wagging her tail when she was approached by one of the adult animals in the house and today, day eighteen, she woke up all full of herself and ready to play with her fellow foster, ten week old kitten, ‘Adonis’. On day sixteen, she ate out of a dish for the very first time and is now sleeping through the night. She also got her first round of puppy shots on Monday and was a real trooper about it.

Every day now it seems as though she’s getting stronger and more aware of her surroundings. She passed the ‘infant’ stage and settling into being a toddler. Her vision is developing on schedule, her weight is great, her appetite is really good and her orneriness is increasing on a daily basis! She seemed quite happy with the new toys that Santa brought her and is trying her best to play with the rest of the pack.

Another amazing week for Gracie

Last week we introduced you to our latest little project: Amazing Grace, or Gracie for short. I had intended to update you with a short paragraph or two over the eight or nine weeks she will be in our care, but this past week’s events were more than we can cover in a few sentences, so we will carry on with the full saga of Gracie’s fight for life.As I last reported to you, Gracie finally had turned the corner for the better; she was eating and putting on some much-needed weight. Her biggest problem was her voracious appetite, which was causing her to suck on her bottle as if she were still in a state of starvation. Keeping her from swallowing too much at one time was a constant concern.Then suddenly, once again, the pup was facing an untimely death.On her fifth day with us during her overnight feeding, a tiny piece of the rubber nipple from her baby bottle broke off. This, coupled with her overanxious sucking, caused her to aspirate, taking formula – and possibly the piece of rubber – into her lungs. From 2:30 a.m. through the early morning hours, she coughed and choked and struggled with her respirations. By 7 a.m., her little pink nose and the pads of her paws were turning gray. The veterinarian was consulted and, unfortunately, the opinion wasn’t optimistic. Once liquid is aspirated, it is very hard for such a tiny being to clear their lungs; if they survive the initial incident, it often turns to pneumonia. The other issue was whether the piece of rubber had been swallowed or aspirated as well. Rather than watch Gracie suffer a slow death, we once again decided to put her down. It seemed that fate had it out for this tiny little girl.Peanut (Photo: CCSPCA)I packed her up and brought her into the shelter, once again thinking it would be our last time together. When I got in, I got one of our vet techs to assist me in trying to break up whatever was clogging her lungs by using chest percussion (a true challenge on a pup that weighed less than a pound!). It was that or the needle, and I just couldn’t give up on this baby after she survived such a horrific beginning. Fifteen minutes later, Gracie started to “pink up,” and once again I allowed myself to hope. The vet then looked at her, had us give her a shot of penicillin and a shot of Dopram (which is used to stimulate the respiratory system), and put her in an oxygen chamber.As the day went on, Gracie finally started eating again, this time taking small amounts from a syringe rather than gulping down mouthfuls from the bottle. At the end of the day, I took her home. She spent the next three days in the bathroom, with steam from the shower and a humidifier helping to clear out her lungs. On Tuesday morning, little Miss Gracie opened her eyes for the first time. She is now back to eating with gusto (still out of a controlled syringe!) and growing like a weed.What a wild ride this poor little pup has been on! She certainly has contributed to my gray hairs. At the time this column is being written, Gracie is approximately 16 days old. She already has rebounded from the edge of death three times. I’m starting to think that she’s more like a cat with nine lives! Let’s hope she doesn’t use up any more of them any time soon.Stay tuned …Nimbus (Photo: CCSPCA)Shelter needsThe Cumberland County Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals shelter in Vineland seeks donations of kitten and puppy chow, canned cat and dog food, hot dogs, cheese singles, soft dog treats, cat toys, collars, leashes, paper towels and dryer sheets. It also seeks gift cards from grocery, pet and hardware supply stores.Toys for TotsPlease remember the kiddies as well as the kitties. The shelter is a drop-off point for the Marine Corps Reserve Toys For Tots program. Please drop off your donations of new, unwrapped toys in the lobby at 1244 N. Delsea Drive, Vineland.

Baine  CCSPCA

Source: Another amazing week for Gracie

How one dog raised $4,000 for Cumberland County SPCA

We want to thank everyone that supported us at our annual pasta dinner. Once again the affair was a great success and we hope everyone in attendance had a good time. It also was the night we announced the winner of our Dog of the Year contest. We want to congratulate Mrs. Jones and her proud owner, Sandy Anderson.Mrs. Jones came to the Cumberland County Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals shelter back in March 2014. She was found tied up in the woods along a running trail in Millville. She was a beautiful, cropped ear American Staffordshire terrier, and we found it hard to understand how anyone could abandon this sweetheart of a dog. She is the epitome of what a Staffy should be: a generously loving personality, strong physical build and always happy to be involved with whatever mom is up to –including fostering litters of kittens!Sandy Anderson got involved with our shelter a few years ago and has become an invaluable volunteer, participating in all sorts activities to support the animals. If you visit our website, one of the first things you’ll see and hear is one the soundtracks from the many videos that Sandy and her husband, Eric, have produced, written and performed the music for. Go to the “Adoptable Cats” page on the site and you’ll find many of the pictures there were taken by Sandy. Often we’ll see her running into the shelter on her lunch hour to snap a few photos or pick up supplies for the many foster animals she’s taken in over the years.THE DAILY JOURNALCumberland County SPCA has dogs & cats waiting for you to adopt themOn the day that Mrs. Jones was brought into the shelter, we all knew that she was just Sandy’s kind of dog. We were hoping that she would take her into foster care until we could find a good home for her. Needless to say, we were thrilled, but not entirely surprised, when Sandy and Eric decided to keep her.During the 2015 Dog of the Year contest, Sandy and Mrs. Jones broke new ground in campaigning for the top dog award. Typically, contestants and their owners go to an event or two, such as a wine festival or some type of community event, to raise donations in their dog’s name. These funds are used to care for the homeless and abused animals that the CCSPCA and South Jersey Regional Animal Shelter care for and investigate. They also have a spot on our website where they can raise online donations. Sandy blew it out of the water this year, attending a couple dozen events, utilizing her own social network, selling T-shirts she had printed up and offering small giveaway items like stuffed animals when donations were made to Mrs. Jones’ campaign. In the end, Sandy raised over $4,000 for the shelter!Sarge (Photo: CCSPCA)Overall, the contest raised more than $14,000 this year, its seventh year running. We are grateful to all the participants and the volunteers who worked so hard to make this another successful campaign. Over its seven-year history, the Dog of the Year contest has raised $110,000 for our animals! It’s very gratifying to see our adoptees out there stumping for the animals that have yet to find their “fur-ever” homes.If you have a special dog that you adopted from us anytime in the past and are interested in showcasing your pet in next year’s contest, beginning in April, visit our website for contest criteria: southjerseyregionalanimalshelter.org.Shelter needsThe South Jersey Regional Animal Shelter in Vineland seeks donations of kitten and cat chow, canned dog and cat food, hot dogs, cheese singles, clay litter, paper towels and copy paper. It also needs gift cards for grocery, pet and hardware supply stores.Mowgli and Baaghera (Photo: CCSPCA)Photos with SantaPet photos with Santa will be offered from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Dec. 6 and 13 at the CCSPCA shelter in Vineland. The cost is $15 for one subject or $20 if more than one. For $2 more, photos will be available on disk, allowing you to use any local photo center to produce holiday cards from the pictures or share them on the Internet. All photos taken during your session will be on the CD. Appointments are preferred, but walk-ins will be accepted. Call (856) 691-1500 to make an appointment.Tree of HopeThe holiday Tree of Hope lighting ceremony will be at 6 p.m. Dec. 6 at the shelter. A donation of $5 is requested. The Tree of Hope will be illuminated with lights dedicated in honor or in memory of loved ones and pets. There will be a short ceremony where all names of those represented on the tree are read aloud. Light refreshments will be available.Toys for TotsPlease remember the kiddies as well as the kitties. The shelter is a drop-off point for the Marine Corps Reserve Toys For Tots program. Please drop off your donations of new, unwrapped toys in the lobby at 1244 N. Delsea Drive, Vineland.

Source: How one dog raised $4,000 for Cumberland County SPCA

Be choosy when giving pets Thanksgiving scraps

So, let’s talk turkey. Thursday may be a stellar day in your pet’s career of begging and stealing food from you and especially your unsuspecting guests. I know that with my crew, a celebration spent with visiting friends and relatives is viewed as an opportunity to beak ALL the rules and get away with things that would never fly on a daily basis. I’ll be the first one to admit that I enjoy including my four-leggers in the celebration, but it’s very important that we humans are the only ones over-indulging.

Let’s start with the turkey. As a general rule, it’s fine to share a little of the big bird with your pets, but you need to stick to the white meat. Strip off the excess skin and fat, stay away from the dark meat (which has a higher fat content) and, of course, make sure there are no bones in what you give them. Keep in mind that, like people, animals can be sensitive to certain foods so don’t overdo it.

Potatoes can be OK too, but if they’re mashed with butter and milk, or embellished with sour cream, you may have a problem. Adult cats often become lactose-intolerant, so I would avoid anything with dairy products for them.

Now let’s get to dessert. Let me be the first to say that I am hard-pressed to share my pumpkin pie with ANYBODY, including cute, fuzzy creatures with big, sad eyes staring up at me. That said, some of you may feel less strongly about the subject and be willing to give up some of it. In that case, pumpkin itself is actually good for your pets; but here again, we have other ingredients in the pie that are not so good. Frankie, my smallest dog, happens to feel just as strongly about pumpkin pie as I do.

Normally not a beggar, he becomes completely entranced with every forkful lifted off my plate. This is something you can actually use to your advantage. Save a little of the pumpkin straight from the can, sans all the other ingredients, and give that to your pet. This is a win-win situation. It’s good for your pet” low in fat, high in fiber, and loaded with vitamins and minerals.

As far as the spirit of the holiday is concerned, I’m sure that those of you who follow this column are as thankful for your pets as I am for mine, and I hope you can take a few minutes during this busy season to let them know how much they are loved. I also want to make sure that those of you who have helped a homeless or abused animal know that your efforts are greatly appreciated. Whether you’ve adopted, donated, volunteered or called in a cruelty report, you’ve made a difference in the life of an animal. We sincerely thank you for that.

The Cumberland County Society for the Prevention ofCruelty to Animals seeks donations of these items: canned cat and dog food, dry kitten and cat food, clay cat litter, dog treats, pet toys, collars and leashes, hot dogs, cheese singles, paper towels, and gift cards from grocery and pet supply stores.

Photos with Santa

Pet photos with Santa will be offered from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Nov. 29, Dec. 6 and Dec. 13 at the CCSPCA shelter in Vineland. The cost is $15 for one subject or $20 if more than one. For $2 more, photos will be available on disk, allowing you to use any local photo center to produce holiday cards from the pictures or share them on the Internet. All photos taken during your session will be on the CD. Appointments are preferred, but walk-ins will be accepted. Call (856) 691-1500 to make an appointment.

Thursday may be a stellar day in your pet’s career of begging and stealing Thanksgiving turkey.

Source: Be choosy when giving pets Thanksgiving scraps

Beware misleading information when choosing a pet

Last week, I opened up my Internet to a major news site’s home page. As the headline photos and headlines scrolled by I was intrigued by a picture of a Rhodesian Ridgeback dog leaping through the air with the title, “25 Dog Breeds that Shed the Least.” At first, I thought that I must be mistaken about the breed or that perhaps an editor had just chosen a stock photo of a dog that would capture people’s attention. I opened the story and, sure enough, there was the beautiful Ridgeback listed as a breed that sheds very little.

As I scrolled through the 25 dogs listed, I found several other breeds, such as the Pointer, listed as either “low shedding” or “shed just twice a year.” As a shelter worker who constantly advocates potential pet owners educating themselves on their particular species and breed choices, I was very disappointed that such a popular new source would spread such misinformation.

I also spoke with a friend that had owned Pointers. When I mentioned the news story to her, she had the same reaction I did when told about Pointers making the list. She remembers having short, spiky hairs stuck in every soft surface of her house and clothing. Along with the seasonal shedding, they would also have bouts of excessive shedding when they got nervous – commonly referred to as “blowing their coats.”

Chihuahuas also were on the list. They may be tiny, but they also are very capable of leaving their fur all over you and your house.

A number of the dogs listed were said to require “minimal grooming.” This would be a much more accurate description of dogs like Ridgebacks and Pointers, although they can do a pretty good job of stinking up the joint if they don’t have regular baths.

I guess I was especially upset with this story because I know that many people are just starting to think about bringing a new pet into their home for Christmas. I would hate for them to be so misled by that story that they might make a bad decision on a particular breed. Shedding is a big issue for a lot of people, and it can be the cause of many pets being relegated to becoming outdoor pets.

We all know that while there is a plethora of misinformation on the Internet, it also can be a great source for researching just about anything we want to know. When considering a pet, it’s important that you read as much as you can from different sources. It also helps immensely to speak with someone who has experience with the breed you’re considering. Keep in mind that cats and dogs have individual personalities and can be very different than others of their particular breed. Their particular genetic makeup along with their socialization and lifestyle, just like people, can produce many different temperaments and personalities. All of this makes a great case for adopting an adult animal – at least then you’re getting a known commodity.

Shelter needs

The Cumberland County Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals shelter in Vineland seeks donations of canned cat and dog food, cat and kitten chow (no red dyes, please), hot dogs, cheese singles, a/d Diet, 70 percent isopropyl alcohol, paper towels, copy paper, and gift cards from grocery and pet supply stores.

Dinner and auction

The annual Spay-ghetti Dinner & Auction will be held from 5 to 9 p.m. Saturday. Tickets are $12 (eat-in or takeout). Kids under 5 years old eat free. The event will be held at the Vineland Moose Hall, 187 W. Wheat Road. Tickets are available at the CCSPCA shelter, at the door or online at cumberlandcountyspca.org.

Source: Beware misleading information when choosing a pet