How to Handle Stray Animals and Adopting Them in the Magic Valley
Twin Falls is littered with stray cats, and dogs run wild daily through the town and the surrounding areas. It isn't uncommon to see stray dogs bolt in front of your car, stray cats sleeping on your hood, or other animals walking around town. While you can't adopt the cow standing in the road, or take the goat that ran across the street, dogs and cats are another story. Go to Rock Creek Park and there are hundreds of stray cats. Getting near them isn't easy but it goes to show how many homeless felines live in the area. Occasionally one of the stray cats or dogs will approach people and become friends with them, but at what point is it ok to claim them as your pet?
How to Handle Stray Animals in Twin Falls
When a cat or dog approaches your home, depending on how friendly it is, your instinct is likely to pet it or feed it. If the animal consumes food like it hasn't eaten in weeks and drinks water like it has been walking through a desert for days, then it is safe to assume the animal is either mistreated and escaped or is a stray. Most of the time, the animals will eat, drink, enjoy a good petting, and go on their way to never be seen again. There are times that they return later that day, the next day, or a few days later. The more frequently they return, the more you sense they are homeless. With cats, this isn't always the case, as many cats are indoor and outdoor pets. It is tough to determine if they have a home and you are unaware, but if they are spending every day outside your door, they enjoy you more than the family they have or had. Does this mean it is safe to adopt the animal as your pet?
Adopting Stray Animals in the Magic Valley
My family and I are currently in a situation where a cat has been lying outside our front door for two weeks, and we are unsure if it has a home or not. It eats all the food we give it, drinks the water, and sleeps by the front door. It comes into the house multiple times a day but is yet to take a nap inside. If you find yourself in a similar situation, I recommend posting on multiple Facebook groups in the area to see if anyone chimes in to claim it as their own. If nobody does, you may be safe to assume it is a stray and claim it as your new pet. Make sure to take it to the vet and have it checked out, as well as to get shots, but you should be in the clear. As one listener recommended to me, you can also buy a collar and attach a note to see if anyone calls you, letting you know it has a home. After a certain amount of time, maybe a week or two, you should know it is safe or just an animal you now share responsibilities with.
The next time you have an animal come across your yard or sitting outside your house, make sure to check the best you can if it belongs to somebody, and if you can't find someone that claims it after a week or two, congratulations, you have a new pet. This does not permit you to steal animals, this is only ok if you can't prove they have a home after trying. Although if it is at your home more than its own, the animal may want to be stolen by you. If you are in search of a new pet in the area, make sure to stop by the Twin Falls Animal Shelter, and help clear the shelter one animal at a time.