A girl and her dog

What is the best pet for your family? What resources are out there to help you? Listen to a discussion with Jim Ehrig from the SPCA to find out

February 14, 2020: Sponsored by Annapolis Pediatrics

Podcast Version

Full Transcript of the podcast is at the bottom of the page

Visit this podcast sponsor Annapolis Pediatrics at https://annapolispediatrics.com/ for more information on the practice, providers, free events, and resources.

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Janet Jefferson (00:14):
Welcome to Third Floor Views where we at Chesapeake Family Life talk about health, education and living with kids. I’m your host, Janet Jefferson. This podcast episode is sponsored by Annapolis Pediatrics. Today we’re talking about how to find the perfect family pet. Adding a new, furry, scaly, or feathered family friend to the mix is a big deal. How do you know what is the right fit for your family? What resources are out there to help you? What sorts of questions should you be asking yourself and your family when considering a new pet? Our guest today is Jim Ehrig from the SPCA in Bay Ridge. Jim has been volunteering for the SPCA for six years. He’s the outreach coordinator. He works on a weekly basis with the dogs and gives families tours of the facilities. Jim has two dogs, Murphy, a golden retriever, and Max, a black lab. Jim, could you tell us just a little bit about the SPCA and what it’s like to volunteer there?

Jim Ehrig (01:08):
Thank you so much for having me here. It’s a pleasure to be here. The SPCA, which stands for Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals has been here in Annapolis since 1920, believe it or not, so a hundred years this year. That’s impressive. Which is a long time and we are a no kill shelter. So 98% of the animals that come in are adopted, which is a wonderful percentage. That makes it obviously much easier to volunteer there knowing that all the animals we work with are adopted out definitely. We are the oldest, no kill shelter in Anne Arundel County. We adopt out between 600 and 900 dogs a year. So that’s between two and three a day. And around 900 to 1200 cats a year, so between three and four a day. It’s a pretty large volume of animals that are getting adopted out. And if the people listening haven’t been there, we’re right on Bay Ridge Avenue in Annapolis. It’s a wonderful location. You could come down and visit, see the dogs and cats, even if you’re not ready to adopt yet, come down and say hi to us.

Janet Jefferson (02:17):
Perfect. Let’s say you are a family that is thinking about a pet. How do you even make that first step of deciding what’s the right pet for you and that range being anywhere from a dog to a cat to maybe something a little less intensive, like maybe a hermit crab. How do you go about thinking about what’s right?

Jim Ehrig (02:34):
That’s a great question and it’s going to be different for every family, but I think the first step is to make sure that every person in the family, whether it’s kids, grandma, and grandpa, everybody is involved in the decision because really everyone needs to be on board, particularly if we’re talking about a dog or a cat that’s going to be around the whole house. It’s really important that everybody’s enthusiastic about having the pet. So I’d say that’s a first step. And then have to gauge what your lifestyle’s like. Do you have allergies or allergy to a particular pet? Do you have an active lifestyle where you’re out running around all the time or are you pretty much home watching TV or you are away most of the day. And so you’ve got to ask all those questions and depending on the individual answers that would steer you toward what sort of animal to get.

Janet Jefferson (03:22):
That was actually one of my questions about making sure all the family members are on board. What should you do? Let’s say you’ve got kids are really excited about a pet and one of the parents is really excited, but what if there’s a family member who’s a little bit less excited? What do you recommend that a family does in that situation?

Jim Ehrig (03:40):
That can be tough. So the first thing that you do is let’s say that you’ve decided you pretty much want to get a dog. That’s what you’re talking about. Kids say really, really want a dog and one person who just isn’t sold. First thing to do is come down to the SPCA, see the dogs, get a feel for it, ask questions about the dogs, lots of questions, and hopefully fall in love with some of the animals and decide this is what you want to do. But you really can’t take someone kicking and screaming to own a pet. So if they don’t want to, maybe the time’s just not right and you have to wait. We hope that everybody would want a pet, but it’s not for everyone, just realistically.

Janet Jefferson (04:20):
As a kid on my way home from high school with my brother every day, we would stop by the SPCA fairly frequently. I was in high school and then my brother would have been a few years younger and it was just a place that I love to go because I love to spend time with the animals, even though I had my own bevy of animals at home. But it was something that I knew if I went with the whole family, including my parents, there was always a risk of coming home with an extra animal. How do you not let emotions take you away and what’s a good way if you have decided you want a pet and you’re going there, how do you make sure that you’re making the right decision?

Jim Ehrig (05:01):
We now have a waiting period so you can’t just walk in and get a pet. It just doesn’t work that way. That does help. Typically if you go in, you fall in love with a cat, let’s say. And the first step is to get every family member to come in to meet the cat and then you fill out an application and then typically between two and eight days we’ll act on that application. And the reason it takes so long because some people want to have the cat right now, which we understand, but we do a check to see that you’ve got a vet that you’ve been using and we see if you’re renting, whether your landlord allows pets, those sorts of things. Also we’re not first come, first serve. We make sure that it’s the best fit for every animal. For instance, if somebody who owned a very small apartment wanted to get a puppy German Shepherd, we might say to them that might not be the best fit because that dog has a lot of energy and really needs to run. And so maybe a cat or older dog or a smaller dog might be better for you. We try to make the very best fit for each animal with each person coming in.

Janet Jefferson (06:04):
So it sounds like there’s a lot of counseling that goes into this process.

Jim Ehrig (06:07):
Absolutely. Some people are disappointed they don’t get the very first pet that they want, but know that pet went to another good home and there’s others out there that they’ll get.

Janet Jefferson (06:17):
It also sounds like a great place for especially a first time pet owner to have someone walk you through the whole process.

Jim Ehrig (06:24):
Absolutely. And it’s the sort of thing where we have many people who see the pets there week after week and who are just getting a feel for the dogs or feel for the cats and or bunny rabbits and seeing them kind of what they want and what seems to fit for them rather than just going in and saying, “Oh, there’s a beautiful one. Let’s grab that one” without thinking about the cat’s temperament and how it would fit into your home. So we hope that that we don’t have impulse adopters as much as we have people who have thought through the adoption process.

Janet Jefferson (06:53):
What about breeds? Do you find that the breed actually does matter? And then coming from the SPCA, do you find a lot of mixed breeds and so you’re really looking at individual animal personalities. How does that fit into the equation?

Jim Ehrig (07:06):
That’s a great question and it’s complicated. Let me start with the question of shopping versus adopting, which gets into breeds because we do mainly have mixed breeds, although often we have purebreds, but obviously we can’t swear they’re purebreds, but they appear to be, but mainly mixed breeds. Now if you go to a breeder, you’ll be getting purebred dogs. But the problem with that is puppy mills and puppy mills have horrible conditions for the dogs. They’re in purely for profit and we really hope that nobody supports puppy mills or buys dogs from them. We always say adopt, don’t shop. And when you adopt a dog from us, you’re not actually saving one dog. You’re saving two because the one you adopt and then the next dog that goes into that dog’s cage, you’ve saved that dog too. So it’s a really big deal. But getting to your question, once you’re at the shelter or another rescue or you’ve decided to adopt, I would say don’t focus on the breed. Focus on temperament, focus on lifestyle. You know, do you want an active dog? Do you want a big dog? Do you want a small dog, old dog, young dog? What’s going to fit with your family and what you do, rather than going, there’s a German shepherd or a golden retriever and get it without thinking about what it means to own working dogs and those sort of dogs. And that might take a lot more effort than another dog. And so I would say don’t focus on breed to the extent that you can, just look at temperament in lifestyle.

Janet Jefferson (08:39):
You mentioned age. What are the the pros and cons of adopting a younger dog versus an older dog?

Jim Ehrig (08:45):
I’ll tell you a cat story first. I do have two dogs and a cat right now. But until recently I had three dogs and a cat. Luna who we adopted the SPCA was a German Shepherd who passed away two months ago. She was 10 when we adopted her, which is old for a German Shepherd, but she lived to almost 14, which is really great. And she had a fantastic last four years of her life with us and she enriched our lives just beyond measure. It was the best thing ever adopting a senior pet. I cannot tell you how it changed our whole house for the better. It was just fantastic. And so I super encourage not over looking the senior dogs and senior cats. It just will add so much to your life. That said, some people want a kitten or want a puppy. And I do understand that. Know that it’s a lot more work and the internet has a wealth of information that I think people should educate themselves before you do that because you should be ready before you get a puppy or kitten. Tons more work. Lots of fun. Everybody probably should do it once in their life, just to experience it. Often after you’ve done it once, you’ll go, Oh I want a four year old dog or I want a 10 year old dog this time.

Janet Jefferson (09:58):
How many puppies do you have coming through and how many older dogs? Do you find sort of ebbs and flows or is there always an even mix of ages .

Jim Ehrig (10:08):
As to dogs, well we probably have less puppies than some places because we focus on trying to get dogs that maybe would be at risk of of not being as adoptable and in a kill shelter they would just be put to sleep. But we find a home for them. Puppies are adopted from everywhere usually. What will happen is we’ll have a dog that’s already pregnant come in to us. It’s surrendered to us and the dog will give birth and so then we do have the puppies and we’ll have the whole litter up for adoption. It’s sort of random, we’ll sometimes have a bunch of those situations and then we might go a couple months without one. There’s always a pretty steady flow of old dogs and cats. Unfortunately, we have people surrendering them and sometimes for good and understandable reasons, sometimes for sad reasons but we always try to find them a great home. I can’t tell you how great it is adopting old senior dogs and cats. It’s the best. As far as cats and kittens go, we’re about to hit kitten season. Although there’s tons of kittens all the time and there’s tons of them. And that brings me to another point, the spay and neutering. Particularly with cats, there’s a huge overpopulation problem in Annapolis and in the whole country, but definitely in Annapolis too. And if you don’t spray or neuter your cat, one cat could have two litters a year. So you could have 12 kittens from one unspayed cat a year. You’ll have to trust me on the numbers, after five years, you’ll have saved 12,000 cats if you just neuter one cat. And so spaying and neutering is hugely important. All of our pets that are adopted out are spayed and neutered before you adopt them. But we encourage people, if you’re getting a cat or a dog elsewhere too, please spay and neuter it because shelters are overcrowded, they’re in the streets too and it’s not a humane situation. We’re very in favor of spay and neutering.

Janet Jefferson (12:18):
That makes a lot of sense. So you mentioned earlier about finding a vet and making sure that there’s a vet ready for your pet. Do all pets need vets including rabbits or something like that? And then if the answer is yes or how do you go about finding a good vet?

Jim Ehrig (12:35):
Excellent question. Janet. Every pet needs a vet. It’s no question. We actually have a full time veterinarian at the shelter who takes care of all of our pets. And also we have spay and neuter clinics and low cost spec scenes. So sometimes people will say I’d like to do a vet with my animal, but it’s expense. Well there are low cost options out there. There’s low cost veterinary practices and we have the SPCA do it as well, but every pet does absolutely need regular shots and vet checkups, the whole works and, and it can get expensive. Some people get a pet health insurance for it. It depends on the animal. Particularly if you’re getting a puppy it probably is worth it because it typically is for the life of the dog. It’s a personal choice for each family and there’s lots of different types of insurance. As to choosing a vet, I don’t want to name any in particular, but Annapolis has many fine veterinary practices. You could go through Angie’s list or Yelp and find numerous really good vets. And of course you could just go in and talk with them and get a feel for how much things cost, which is a good idea to do before you adopt an animal so you have a sense of the expenses. We definitely think that veterinary care is important. Another thing that’s important for when you get a dog in particular is to think about that you’re probably going want training for a dog, particularly if it’s a puppy. There’s lots of dog trainers in Annapolis too that are very good and so we recommend with most dogs that you adopt from us, that you also get them trained.

Janet Jefferson (14:15):
That’s a great recommendation. Do you ever get any other animals trained? Is that common?

Jim Ehrig (14:20):
It’s not common. Typically the trainings is just for dogs. But I have seen cats trained, believe it or not, I’ve seen guinea pigs trained too. I have a friend who has a couple of guinea pigs and guinea pigs, by the way, do better in groups. So most people don’t adopt just one, you adopt two or more of them. They’re wonderful pets and you can clicker train them where if you get these big cages and you want them, for instance, to go to one side of a cage, so you can clean the other, you could with a clicker, you can get them to do it. They’re very smart and they are trainable.We have them at the SPCA for adoption. And cats can certainly be trained as well so pretty much all animals can be trained. But with dogs because they’re bigger and for instance, you might not want your dog jumping on people and that type of thing so it’s really good to have them trained.

Janet Jefferson (15:13):
That makes a lot of sense. One of the things that you mentioned was cost. So when thinking about adopting a pet, that would definitely be a consideration. And looking at all different kinds of animals, whether you’re talking about reptiles or even like getting an aquarium. Where do you think different animals fall along that sort of cost spectrum? Are dogs fairly expensive or do they fall in the middle? What about a bird? What do you think in terms of a cost?

Jim Ehrig (15:42):
At the SPCA we have dogs, cats, rabbits, guinea pigs, ferrets, sometimes hamsters. Sometimes mice. On rare occasion we’ll have a bird. But generally we only do what are considered domestic pets. So birds and reptiles don’t fall in there. Frankly, I don’t know very much about birds and reptiles. But as to all of the other animals, those costs can vary. Obviously you pay for food, you have to pay for medical care. It can be very different from one dog to the next, one cat to the next. And so the finances are one of the things that you weigh when you’re adopting. We’ve got a wonderful program at the SPCA called the food bank. We found that three quarters of our animals we get in because they’re surrendered. The other quarter we pull from other shelters that are in need. But if those ones that are surrendered, we used to find that a lot of them were because people couldn’t afford food. Which is really sad that somebody couldn’t keep their pet because of that. So we started the food bank where we have food there that we give to low-income Anne Arundel County families so that they could keep their pet at home. We have about a hundred pets in this program right now, and if you donate, if people listening donate food, cat food, dog food to the shelter, it goes into the food bank, which allows people to keep their pets and not surrender them, which is good for everybody, particularly the pet

Janet Jefferson (17:21):
One of the things that we talked about was finding the pet that sort of matched your family needs. I know the volunteers, they are experts in each of the animals that are there. How do the volunteers judge demeanor and how do they find the right fit for a family?

Jim Ehrig (17:38):
There’s a couple of ways. First we do depend on the people who have surrendered the dog or cat to us to tell as much as they can about that animal. So we know if the animals lived with other animals, has lived children, that type of thing. And that’s extremely helpful. But also we learn at the shelter a lot about the dog or the cat. We learn if they’re more social or less social and how they do with other animals, how they do with other people. And you’d be surprised how quickly you pick up on all of that. You’ll see when you walk into the dog runs a sign that says, for instance, no dogs or other cats with this particular dog. And that’s because we know that they just wouldn’t do well. Or sometimes it’ll say kids only 13 and up because the dog is too big and rambunctious, that it wouldn’t be a good fit for someone with a six year old kid living in the house. And then of course there’s other dogs or cats that are perfect for the whole family and could have other dogs and cats with them. But it’s very important, a much more important than just breed to know those facts about a dog. And we do learn them fairly fast there. Occasionally there’s a dog we won’t know about yet, but as we have the dog for longer, we learn all those things.

Janet Jefferson (18:56):
That makes a lot of sense. Let’s take a quick break to hear about our sponsors.

Donna Jefferson (19:04):
Thank you to our sponsor, Annapolis Pediatrics. I’m Donna Jefferson, the creator and CEO of Chesapeake Family Life and I’m happy to tell you that I’m a former patient of Dr. Briscoe, the founder of Annapolis Pediatrics. And both of my kids were seen throughout their childhood by the excellent staff at Annapolis Pediatrics, which started in 1948. They see infants, children, adolescents, and young adults in five locations, Annapolis, Crofton, Edgewater, Severna Park, and Kent Island. And I can tell you from experience that they care as much about the wellbeing of your entire family, including frazzled moms and dads as they do about your children. They’re there when you need them, 24/7, you can find them online at AnnapolisPediatrics.com.

Janet Jefferson (19:50):
Welcome back. We’re here with Jim from the SPCA, talking about family pets. We’ve been discussing everything from age of the animals to what’s the best fit for the family. Let’s say you’ve made that decision to acquire a new pet and you’ve picked out that pet and you’re ready to bring them home. How do you prep your house for a new animal?

Jim Ehrig (20:12):
So if it’s a dog, you would want to doggie proof the house. So anything at dog level that’s fragile you would want to move it, particularly at first because you have to remember a dog coming into your home day one isn’t going to know that it’s that dog’s home yet. Little Rover is confused and doesn’t know where he is. And so you want to make the houses dog friendly as possible. And then eventually you could put your little cute statues and expensive stuff back up. But I wouldn’t have them on day one because you don’t want the dog who’s unfamiliar with the surroundings knocking them over. Dog proofing your would be the first thing and the exact same for a cat or the cats will get into things. You have to think about making your lifestyle fit for that pet particularly at first. It takes probably a month or so for the dog or cat to know, okay this is my home, these are my people. They get used to your schedule and how you do things and what happens in different rooms and become really a member of the family. Do everything that you can do to set your house up so that it’s easier for the dog or cat to come in. Whether that might be a dog bed or cat bed. Often cats like the window sill beds that you can get so they can look out the windows or get cat trees. Dog toys are are great, cat toys are great, really everything that you would want for them to be happy and play with, sleep, play and eat when when you get home.

Janet Jefferson (21:38):
That makes a lot of sense. Just a couple of questions about adoption in general. Why adopt, what are the benefits to adoption and then specifically why adopt from the SPCA?

Jim Ehrig (21:51):
We talked a little earlier about adopt, don’t shop. And the big point would be that when you adopt, you’re saving a dog or cat’s life that otherwise could be euthanized. Now granted we’re a no kill shelter, but there’s lots of kill shelters out there. So when you’re adopting an animal, you’re saving that animal’s life. Unfortunately most breeders, not all, but most breeders are not very humane in their practices. And particularly, it’s for profit, it’s a commodity to them. This isn’t a family pet, it’s a commodity. And particularly puppy mills, which are illegal in the state of Maryland. In fact, now it’s illegal to sell a puppy, any dog in the state of Maryland from a pet store. The reason for that is it’s inhumane the way these dogs are treated, the way they’re bred is really horrible. And so we don’t want to do anything to support that. And that’s part of why there’s about 6 million stray animals killed a year in the United States because there’s so many from these breeders. It’s a huge number and it’s disheartening. But we try to take one animal at a time and find that animal a good home and work from there. Please, please adopt. We have every sort of size and shape dog and if we don’t, one of the other shelters does. And you could find, if you just are a little patient, you could find just about every type of dog at one of the rescues or shelters in the area. And as to why you go with us first, I wouldn’t particularly say that. I think all the rescues and all the shelters that I know of around here are wonderful. And I think you should just adopt. And if you adopt from Barks and Baltimore, that’s where you are. Or if it’s from Tri-County down in Waldorf or from us or any other reputable rescues and shelters, I think that’s wonderful. We certainly support all of those groups. They support us, particularly when some of these shelters that are are kill shelters, when they’re getting overcrowded, we’ll pull dogs and cats from them so that we can keep them until they’re adopted. And so although we’re not affiliated, we stand alone as an independent nonprofit, we are supportive of all those other shelters and certainly hope they do well.

Janet Jefferson (24:02):
That’s amazing. I didn’t realize that there was such a network of support for all the animals in the area. That’s really great.

Jim Ehrig (24:08):
And really not just in the area, though we do care most about Annapolis and Anne Arundel County, but for instance, when there were the wildfires in California or the floods in South Carolina, they know ahead of time how many stray dogs and cats there will be. So they try to empty their shelters and they’ll bring them to us and other shelters. And so in the last couple of years we’ve adopted out a number of California dogs, a number of South Carolina dogs, dogs from wherever there happens to be a disaster happening. There’s a network of caring people who are trying to get these pets adopted from all over.

Janet Jefferson (24:41):
Interesting. You’ve talked a little bit about where these animals are coming from. Maybe their owner has passed away or maybe they’re coming from another shelter that’s just really full or maybe there was a natural disaster. What is sort of the most common place that these animals are coming from?

Jim Ehrig (24:56):
Well, three quarters of the ones we get are surrendered by families. And unfortunately it boils down to, in the end, for most of them, that they have an animal that didn’t fit with them anymore for some reason. And so probably they should have been more careful when they got the pet. We don’t want to be negative about that, but that is the truth of how we get them. It’s always a big problem around the holidays. Unfortunately some people will give it as a gift, a dog or a cat to someone who might not have even wanted the dog or a cat or it might not be appropriate for them. And then they’re returned to a shelter. That’s very sad. And so that’s where if you do the preplanning that we talked about, or when you get a pet where everybody’s very aware and onboard, we hope at least you’d avoid those situations. And that said, we do realize that sometimes with purely good heart and good attentions, you get a pet and it just doesn’t work out and you return the dog to us and we want you to do that. That does happen and we totally understand that.

Janet Jefferson (26:00):
Okay, so there is a return policy, sort of for better or worse?

Jim Ehrig (26:03):
Right. We make you sign when you adopt an animal from us that you guarantee that if something goes wrong, you will return the animal to us. You won’t give it to a way to another shelter or another person so that we can then find a home that will work for that dog or cat. And that does happen to a certain relatively small percentage of our adoptions. It’s one of the reasons we try so hard to make the original adoption a really good fit so that that doesn’t happen. But you know, everybody trying their best sometimes that still just happens.

Janet Jefferson (26:33):
Especially for kids and thinking about myself when I was growing up in the area, my love to just hang out at the SPCA. Could you talk just a little bit about volunteer opportunities, especially for kids or families?

Jim Ehrig (26:44):
First of all, we’re a nonprofit and we don’t get any money from the government, from any national SPCAs or anything else. We just get everything from donations and from volunteers. And so we’re dependent on volunteers and donations. And on the volunteer end, you could start volunteering at 13 years old with your parents. We have a fantastic teen/parent program where you could come in and walk the dogs, play with the cats and the rabbits and guinea pigs. Another opportunity is things like events like bake sales and other events that they do to raise money for the shelter, raise awareness for the shelter, and get really involved at a young age. And I’ve spoken to many of the teens and moms and dads with them who just think it’s the very best activity that they do with their kid all week long. They love it. And then when the kid turns 18, they could say bye to mom and dad and do it on their own. They could then volunteer. And I encourage people to fill out a volunteer application online. And it’s just so much fun and it is incredibly worthwhile. It’s frankly the best thing I’ve ever done with my life. I can’t tell you how much I enjoy working with the animals and it’s really worthwhile. It’s a great feeling.

Janet Jefferson (28:11):
That’s fantastic. Yeah, it sounds like it’s good for everybody. Good for the animals, good for the people.

Jim Ehrig (28:15):
It is. And it’s nice that when when you do volunteer, you don’t have to come any specific hours. We only ask that you volunteer for six hours a month, which is not that big a deal. And you could come in really whenever we’re open and just walk dogs, play with the cats and the littles. There’s always things to do there. We also have really fun events for trying to get the animals adopted out, raising money and we need volunteers to work the events. For instance, in May we have the Walk For the Animals, at Quiet Waters, which is one of our really big events and it takes tons and tons of volunteers to run that sort of thing. It’s lots and lots of fun. Everybody should come down to that. It’s just a wonderful time. If you go to our website and you can just look up the SPCA of Anne Arundel County online and you’ll see all of our events are there and where the public can go to, or if you want to volunteer, you could sign up for volunteer class and then you can go and help with those things.

Janet Jefferson (29:11):
That’s great. It sounds like there’s something for everyone.

Jim Ehrig (29:13):
Absolutely. In fact, last night I was doing a tour for a group of Girl Scouts of the shelter and it’s so cute at the end of it they read to the cats, which is wonderful. It does remind me, I wanted to tell you that we have on every other Thursday for the public, we have bedtime book buddies, which is a program that one of our teen volunteers, Maggie, started at the shelter. And it’s a wonderful program where people can sign up to come in to read to the dogs or cats and the animals love it. The kids and adults love it. Again, you could sign up on the website for that.

Janet Jefferson (29:47):
Perfect. Last question, is there anything else that we should know about adopting cats and dogs? Anything else that you feel like we as the general public should be aware of?

Jim Ehrig (30:01):
Sure. There’s one a humane thing that I really wanted to get chance to talk about. That’s declawing cats. Declaring cats is extremely inhumane. We don’t do it at the shelter, and we make everybody agree that they will not declaw a cat when they adopt them from us. People have a misconception that declawing a cat is just slipping off their nails. It’s not, it’s the equivalent of amputating your hand at the last knuckle. It is barbaric. Frankly, if there’s no medical reason for it, it’s really inhumane. It’s bad for the cat on numerous levels. And so I hope that if there’s two things that people who listen to this take away, one is to spay and neuter their pets and the second don’t declaw your cats, love your cats. Don’t declaw your cats and get them a scratching post. There’s all sorts of ways to make sure that your cat doesn’t scratch your furniture. You can train them, get scratching posts, all types of things that you can do. I have a cat and it’s not a problem.

Janet Jefferson (31:02):
Awesome. Thank you so much, Jim, for coming in today and a big thank you to Annapolis Pediatrics for sponsoring this episode of Third Floor Views. We love to hear your thoughts, comments, and questions. If you enjoyed what you heard today, check out more thirdfloorviews.com. I’m Janet Jefferson. This is Third Floor Views. Thank you for listening.