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Allergies & Pets
Hello there, Our 9-year-old daughter has been asking for a pet -- something cute like a bunny or a kitty. We want to make her happy and teach her responsibility, but we have many constraints. We both work full-time and our daughter is of coure in school all day. In addition, she has allergy (to dust, mold, grass and a few other things). Her allergy is now under control and we would like to keep it that way. We were told that cats don't mind our being away all day and are relatively easy to take care of. However, we are not sure if cats will make her allergy problem worse... We hope there are families like us who have successfully found that ideal cute pet (not rat, snake, goldfish or turtle). Do you have any suggestions? Thank you so much! Anonymous
Editor note: it is not legal to bring ferrets into California!
My eight-year-old daughter is desperate for a pet, the problem: her best friend, who spends a lot of time at our house, is desperately allergic to anything with fur ... I've vetoed snakes & lizards, fish seem more like decoration than pets ... she currently has a crawfish, which in my opinion is kind of a pathetic "pet" but better than nothing. I'm considering those little turtles, the kind that live in water, but I know nothing about them. I assume they can be picked up and "played" with a little, at least more than a crawfish, and might live longer too. I grew up with cats and dogs, and it seems sad for a child to be deprived of the pleasure of the company of other living critters. Any suggestions would be welcome. Melinda
The education office, in particular, specializes in letting people know about animals and what they're like. Call them and talk to an education officer (the office is busy: you might have to have the officer call you back). Explain all you've done: the animals you've considered and what your daughter needs, just as you did in your UCB message.
The SF SPCA also has an animal-assisted therapy program. They take all kinds of animals to homes, shelters, and hospitals to visit people, and they will know a lot about non-allergenic animals. If you call the animal-assisted therapy office, they may have good information.
The SPCA may have other offices or programs which can help, too. And, as with anything, if you don't get all the information you need, ask who you should call next.
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