Choosing the right pet for your family

February 3, 2010 4:42:43 PM PST
If you're thinking about adding to your family with a four legged friend, there are lots of things to consider. Will the pet be good with your kids, should you adopt from a shelter? Dori Villalon from the San Francisco SPCA has the following advice:

What are steps/tips for picking a pet for your family?

  • Decide as a family what pet will be best for everyone.

  • Before you adopt, map out who will care for the pet and how.

  • Make sure your family is ready to be full-time pet owners.

  • Check for allergy sufferers in your home.

  • Educate yourself about being a responsible pet owner.
It's also important to make sure you get the right kind of breed or the right animal that fits your household, right?
  • Active families = active pets

  • City families = cat or small dog vs. dog that needs lots of exercise

  • Small children = breeds that are more calm and work well with little ones
Do rescued pets come with problems other pets might not? How do you handle these problems?
  • Rescued pets can be just as loving and wonderful as pets that don't have a troubled background

  • Health concerns - make sure they get examinations, treatments, spay/neuter, vaccinations

  • Behavior concerns - dog training classes, temperament-testing by SPCA
The SPCA is involved in a big event this week, giving away food to pets in need. What is that about?
  • The Purina ONE "Tour for Heroes" national road tour is traveling around the country, setting up pet food banks at local shelters to give away food to people and pets in need.

  • We're giving away about 1,000 pounds of dog and cat food to pets in need in the Bay area, anyone who is in need can just come down for their free food.

  • This Wednesday, the tour will be stopping at the San Francisco SPCA and on Thursday we'll be at the ARF headquarters in Walnut Creek to host a temporary pet food drive and adoption event from 1 p.m. to 7 p.m.
Please call 415-522-3500 to find out more information about the pets seen in this segment. Hours of adoption are: Tuesday - Friday from 1:00 p.m. - 7:00 p.m., Saturday & Sunday from 10:00 a.m. - 6:00 p.m., Closed Mondays.

About the pets:

Simone, 3 year old, Spayed Female, Domestic Longhair Mix, Silver/White/Tabby, Declawed= indoors only cat, Arrived from Elko on 1/7/2010
I am a chatty girl who wants to know all about your day when you come home! I am an outgoing personality when I get settled but will need a room of my own to adjust in at first. I'm a Meet Your Match Personal Assistant ~ You're working on the computer? Let me press the keys. Reading the paper? I'll hold the pages down for you. I'll help you with all your chores, and I'll help you relax when we're done. You'll wonder how you ever managed without me. Grab a volunteer, visit me and take me home today!

Mambo, 2 month old Shepherd Mix Male puppy, 11 pounds, arrived from a Puppy Rescue on 2/1/2010
I'm just a little pup right now, but I'm gonna grow up to be a big dog. I may be a bit biased, but I think that I am a really cute puppy. If you have the time to take on the socialization and education of a puppy, then together, we can show the world how wonderful I am! This is my first time on my own in the big world and I am a little worried. I know I can learn my way around, all I need is a person I can trust to show me the ropes. I need to be neutered before I go home, but you can meet me now if you are interested in adopting me.

Food for Fluffy and Fido
From February 3-26, the Purina® ONE® Tour For Heroes will travel from San Francisco to New York and stop at local animal shelters in 11 cities along the way to set up temporary food banks and adoption events. More than 63,000 pounds of dog and cat food - equaling 11,000 bags of food - will be given out to help pets in need. Every pet owner who visits an event will receive one 8-lb. bag of Purina® ONE® brand dog food or one 3.5-lb. bag of Purina® ONE® brand cat food while supplies last.

The Tour For Heroes will be stopping at two local shelters in the Bay area. The first event will be held on Wednesday, Feb. 3 at the San Francisco SPCA, 250 Alabama St., from 1 p.m. to 7 p.m. On Thursday, Feb. 4, the tour will stop at Tony La Russa's Animal Rescue Foundation (ARF), 2890 Mitchell Drive in Walnut Creek, from 1 p.m. to 7 p.m.

For more information about the Purina ONE Tour For Heroes and to find out about other tour stops, visit