Interview - VetShopper of the Month

VetShopOnline is constantly on the look out for VetShoppers who are out there making a difference in society and the community. I am pleased to announce that we have spotted one. Recently we interviewed Deborah Albert, long time VetShopOnline customer, as our first VetShopper.

Deborah is a surgeon from Florida with a passion for animals. She is an outgoing,
deborah a-vetshoplab.jpgadventurous person, who loves her pets. At home, Deborah has nine adopted animals plus an elaborate salt water fish aquarium. In her spare time, she volunteers at the Big Cat Animal Sanctuary. She has been shopping with VetShopOnline for a number of years.

This interview resonates with our concern about pets being hit hard by the rough economy. Shelters across the United States are experiencing higher intake rates than normal.

And it is on the increase. Yes, pets are having it rough too. With foreclosures, families moving into new homes with no-pet rules and increasing pet food prices, a record number of pet owners are being forced to surrender their beloved pets into shelters.

VSL : Currently, how many pets do you have?
debsdogs-vetshoplab.jpgDeborah : I have 7 cats, 2 dogs. They were all rescued. Innumerable fish, corals, invertebrates and anemones. I have a 650 gallon fish tank, 250 gallon reef tank, and a 37 gallon tank with a mantis shrimp

VSL : How long have you had these pets?
Deborah : I have had pets all my life. Right now my oldest is Bandit aged 11, a shepherd lab, chow mix.

VSL : Are you more of a dog person or cat person?
Deborah : I am definitely more of a cat person.

debscats2 copy-vetshoplab.jpgVSL : Which is your favourite pet? Why?
Deborah : My favorite is Zuri; I have never had such an affectionate cat. He is a great cuddler

VSL : Are all these pets adopted from a shelter?
Deborah :Yes.

VSL : Tell us why you adopt or rescue?
Deborah : I feel very strongly about rescuing animals. Millions are killed in the US every year or languish in rescues waiting for a good home. If I could I would take them all home. Actually I hope when I retire to open a rescue.

VSL : Having said all that, how hard is it for you to walk past the animal in a shelter knowing you cannot take them all home with you? How do you cope with it?Deborah : As far as passing by animals at the sanctuary, I volunteer at a sanctuary for Big Cats so passing them by knowing I cannot take them home is not an issue. None of these cats should ever belong to a person.
VSL : What advice or tips can you offer pet lovers out there on how to adopt or rescue a pet? Why should they adopt?
Deborah : I think it important that someone who rescues an animal thinks with their head and not just their heart; to be sure they can make a lifelong commitment to the well being and happiness of the animal. Too often the cute puppy turns into a large dog and people don't want them anymore (that is what happened to mine. I adopted both as adults, Bandit is 80 lbs, Beau 95lbs).

As far as why people should adopt, there is nothing like the unconditional love of an animal. I can't imagine my life without them.

VSL : From your years of experience in animal shelters, does the economic turmoil increase the numbers of pet owners who give up their pets? Do the number of animals in the shelter increase more than ever before?
Deborah :The economic crisis has had a definite impact and more and more people are unfortunately giving up their pets. It is a real tragedy, which is part of the reason I took in 2 more (cats). They were part of a litter of 11 that was dropped off n a box at a feed store, which often means they wind up as alligator bait! It also points to the importance of spaying or neutering your pets.

VSL : Do you have any comment about the role of VetShoponline as an online supplier of pet meds and supplies - especially in tough times like these?Deborah : I am very thankful that there is Vetshoponline to provide affordable medications, it makes a big difference, especially when you have as many as I do. I also wonder if there would be some special pricing available for the Big Cats since we do give them flea medicine every month, and we have about 140 cats.
VSL : Deborah, we would love to help and we will talk about this more.

We are pleased to present Deborah a gift voucher worth $20 to shop at

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