Posted By: The Cheapest Skate in Frugality on 07/17/2007 at 13:50:24
Pets, they're great since they can keep you company or keep your kids occupied and fulfilled. This entry is something everyone should consider, even if you aren't super-stretched for cash. Pets are expensive, especially cats and dogs. They are not something to be acquired with any sort of flippancy - realize that you're making a huge commitment and a huge investment in your time, if not your cash. But there are ways to limit the amount that you'll have to spend.
If you're looking for a purebred cat or dog, I can't really help you avoid breaking the bank. But I can give you alternatives to consider. If you go to your local animal shelter, you'll find a world of cats and dogs (sometimes bunnies) that are in need of a good home. Despite the stigma that unfortunately exists in relation to these places, most are excellent spots to locate animals. The selection is extensive and most have a background, so you know the breed, sex, age, and any medical conditions of the animals. More and more places are listing whether or not the animal is receptive to being around children or other pets. These places are especially in need of people to adopt animals from them. Because there is such a high number of dogs and cats entering these places, each animal has 21 days before they are put down. As a result of this, if you're willing to adopt, many places will provide a full set of shots and medical screening for all pets, since this costs them less than putting the animal down.
Another option is places like A.D.O.P.T. and PetsMart. Each of these places are no-kill facilities that also have animals up for adoption and provide a similar medical service for animals that are given new homes. By getting this initial medical screening and shots taken care of for free, not to mention the food, toys, and cages that are usually provided, you can walk away saving hundreds, if not thousands of dollars - all by adopting good pets. Your kids will think you're the greatest parent ever, you'll have saved an animal, and you'll have done all that without tapping into your savings account.
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