pet parenting

A Purrfect Match

ACPS rolls out pairing program for prospective pet parents

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These days, looking for love can be as easy as swiping right or searching online. Matchmaker apps are everywhere, giving humans countless options for finding their soul mates. So why not use the same concept to match people with pets?

The search for a new pet can be both overwhelming and exciting, and it's important to take time to find the right match for you. Sometimes, people want a specific breed, but that doesn't necessarily mean that pet will be a good fit. Others choose a pet based on looks alone, without taking into consideration their personality or activity level. Of course, there's always questions. Should a dog or cat be the only pet? Would this pet do well in a home with other animals or children?

Pets are individuals and should never be judged by just breed, appearance or age; personality and behavior are important factors in determining if they're right for your family.

Animal Care & Protective Services now offers a unique program to help shelter animals find their perfect match. It's called One Tail at a Time and its aim is to help folks be certain they've been paired with the right pet. Rather than bringing home a pedigreed pooch or the most adorable kitten that caught your eye, soon-to-be pet parents are encouraged to choose a pet based on mutual compatibility.

The program is simple. The ACPS adoption team uses all the data they have about the adoptable pets and works with interested families to find the perfect pet for their home. Potential adopters take a short survey to help determine their pet preferences. Once the questionnaire is completed, they're matched with appropriate pets, ones that stack up as compatible, according to the form. ACPS sends a list of matches and arranges for the adopters to meet the pets. The shelter and owner will determine whether or not it's a love connection.

In most shelters, visitors find a new furry family member by walking around, gazing into kennels and hoping to happen upon The One. This system works well for very cute and instantly likable animals, even in a stressful shelter environment. It's not ideal for all the rest of the animals. Pairing programs allow each pet to put their best paw forward to make a good
first impression.

Sharing your life with an animal companion can bring great joy, but adopting a pet is a big decision that shouldn't be taken lightly. If you're considering getting a shelter pet, compare the experience to shopping at a thrift shop, like Goodwill. Look long enough, and carefully enough, and you find great stuff. But don't expect to walk into a shelter one day and walk out an hour later with the ideal pet. Let the journey unfold naturally. Base your decision on fit, not looks; even the desert has beauty. Most important: Remember that all pets, if given the right amount of patience and love, can be lifelong friends.

Mark Your Calendars: Starting May 12, ACPS operation hours change. 10 a.m.-6 p.m., Sat. and Sun.; noon-7 p.m. Tue.-Fri.; closed on Mon.

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Learn more about One Tail at a Time here.

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