You used to swoon when the kitties dived into the laundry as though it’s their personal playground. And when the new puppy found the bag of dog food and helped himself, you took pictures. But as time goes on, the antics of your furry family members aren’t quite as adorable. And now that you are all sequestered together, that cute behavior is starting to grate on your nerves.
Perhaps your pooch snacks on your favorite sneakers. Or he gets needy during online business meetings. Maybe your cat is etching a striped pattern on the arms of the sofa. Since pets and people speak different languages, it’s nice to know FREE or affordable assistance is available to help bridge the communication gap.
Various animal shelters around the nation offer pet behavior helplines. Staff members or trained volunteers offer personalized assistance to questions submitted by phone or email. Some behavior helplines are intended primarily for families that adopted from that shelter. Other helplines serve anyone — regardless of where they live or where they acquired their pet. You can get advice on litter box use, house training, nipping, scratching and gnawing. Some helplines also accept questions about rabbits, gerbils and other types of pets.
Two shelters with respected and active pet behavior departments are among those offering helplines that accept questions from anyone anywhere in the world.
- Dumb Friends League in Denver, 877-738-0217 or online.
- Marin Humane Society in Novato, California. The on-campus help center is closed, but there are 45-minute help sessions available by phone.
- ASPCA Help Line for pets offers compassionate and knowledgeable advice on pet care, end-of-life issues, and more. Call 952-HELP-PET (952-435-7738).
- The Anti-Cruelty Society is there is to help you navigate animal behavior.
- Wanderers’ Rest in Canastota, New York has a page dedicated to feline behavior and issues. You can call 315-697-2796 for advice.
Another resource is Just Answer Veterinary, which connects you to an on-call veterinarian (for a fee or as part of a subscription-based membership ) who can go over any problem with you and determine if there is a need for your pet to have an examination.
Animal Friends’ Behavior Team, based in the Pittsburgh area, is available for help with pet behavior, including rabbits. You can call them at 412.847.7059
You can also find reliable FREE tips and advice online at these sites:
- The Dumb Friends League: puppy and dog behavior and kitten and cat behavior
- Humane Society of the United States: dog care and tips and cat care and tips
Do you think your pets’ behavior is the result of eating something or getting into something he shouldn’t have? Don’t take a chance. Call the Animal Poison Control Center for help at (888) 426-4435.
Have you found other great free resources on pet care and behavior? Let us know.