Arizona Pet Vet is a network of 17 animal hospitals peppered throughout the Valley area. The veterinarians use modern treatments and therapies to care for animal companions, treating each pet like an important member of its owner's family. The company doles out tips for bringing home a new pet on its website and exhibits evidence of the animal kingdom's capacity for cuteness on its Facebook page.
It?s important to take good care of your pet?after all, it?s the product of millennia of domestication. Read on to learn more about how once-wild animals found a place in our homes.
If you raised a siberian husky pup and a wolf cub side-by-side, giving each one the same food, training, and number of belly scratches, you would still wind up with one tame creature and one wild one. So why the difference? Though both creatures are technically the same species Canis lupus and share virtually the same DNA, only the husky's genes are programmed for domestication. The traits we associate with domestication?such as friendliness, calmness, and even floppy ears?have all been selected by humans and passed down from one generation of huskies to the next. In simpler terms: nature created the wolf; we bred the husky.
An example of the domestication process can be seen in a famous Russian experiment using arctic foxes. Beginning in 1958, scientists took an assortment of wild foxes and selected only the few that showed a specific trait?friendliness towards humans. They allowed those foxes to breed then selected only the friendliest of that litter, and so on and so on. After only a few generations, the foxes began to exhibit behaviors never found in their wild ancestors, such as whining and tail wagging. What's more, the domesticated foxes took on new appearances, sporting more juvenile features and spotted fur. Though the strange new foxes might have been considered a new species, they?like dogs to wolves?were just a domesticated version of the same wild foxes.
Although dogs have been domesticated for roughly 33,000 years and cats for 12,000, no one is quite sure how either species came to be domesticated. One of the most popular theories is that only the least aggressive animals were permitted to hang around early human settlements, and over time, humans began breeding the friendliest of the bunch. The advantages were clear: dogs aided in hunting, while cats kept food stores free of rodents and protected the villages from laser pointers.
The Arizona Humane Society has provided shelter and rehabilitation to homeless and abandoned animals since 1957, watching over more than 46,000 dogs, cats, and smaller critters every year as they await new homes. After proving their eligibility for adoption and consulting with the shelter staff, new owners can choose a companion from any of the pets prowling the menagerie, from puppies and kittens up to 9 months old to adult dogs and cats. Rabbits and ferrets also scurry about, searching for farmers' carrots carelessly planted in an animal shelter. For current owners, the society provides low-cost spaying and neutering services as a public service, as well as education and outreach programs to promote compassion and ensure a safe home for all creatures.