Newspaper Archive of
The Adams County Record
Council, Idaho
April 25, 2012     The Adams County Record
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April 25, 2012

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Page B4 Wednesday, April 25, 2012 The Adams County Record This Adoptable get 9po.sored by This adoptable pet Sponsored by Benefits to pet adoption BY: J-AN-Tr SM-m^ More than 11 years ago -- ready to become a pet par- ertt -- I stepped into the lal animal shelter ail(i perti'ed ' the cages to find a new com- panion animal. The shelter was filled to capacity, mostly with pit bulls and other large, aban- doned dogs. In one cage I saw a mound of mismatched fur and realized I had found "the one" It was difficult to describe the dog's appearance. He looked like a cross between an Ewok and Gizmo the gremlin. He was around 3 months old and had been found wandering the streets alone. His cage was marked "terrier mix;' so there was no way to fully know the breed or how large the puppy would get. Despite the way he started his early able to adopt them. There are a number of rea- sons that dogs end up in shel- ters. Many times, a family moves and may not be allowed to have pets in their next resi- dence. Sometimes older people can no longer take care of a dog, especially if they're mov- ing into a nursing home. Some individuals simply misjudge the size or the responsibilities of having a dog and surrender the animal. Dog adoption Despite the vast numbers of available pets in shelters, there are many people who continue to think a better dog is one that comes from a pet store or private breeder, especial- ly if a pure breed is desired. Keep in mind that 25 percent of dogs who enter local shel- life, the dog wagged his tail and was very affection- ate to me. I decided to take the plunge and adopt him. Eleven years later, my dog Happy is still a part of my fami- ly. I can say I've never met a more laid- back, well- behaved and rela- tively trou- ble-free dog -- and that comes with a history of many pet dogs growing up and my father even having owned a pet shop at one point. If I ever choose to welcome another dog into my home, I'm certain I'll go the adoption route. Pets in shelters According to the ASPCA, many of the shelters operat- ing nationwide are indepen- dent organizations, and there is no reliable means of tabulating just how many dogs enter their shelters every year. It is esti- mated that anywhere between 5 to 7 million companion ani- mals enter a shelter every year. Approximately 3 to 4 million are euthanized, and only 15 to 20 percent are returned to their owners due to microchip or tag identification. The National Council on Pet Population Study and Policy says most of the pets are destroyed simply because there is no one avail- adopting a pet, fees help shelters mitigate the cost of feeding, housing and provid- ing healthcare for shelter ani- mals. Your adoption fee, in part, helps all of the animals in the shelter. Furthermore, the shelter often vaccinates and neuters the animals prior to adoption, helping to save you the cost of these proce- dures. Get a healthy dog. Some dogs at shelters do have spe- cial care requirements, but the majority of them are healthy pets. The shelter will have a veterinarian examine and treat the dogs, helping to ensure you start out your life together on a healthy note. This is not always the case with dogs purchased from a breeder. Some pet stores get their dogs from high- turnout puppy mill breeders, where over- breeding may result in genet- ic problems with puppies or illness from overcrowding. .Get a dog that's already trained. Shelters house animals of all age groups; therefore, if a housetrained pet is desired, or one that has learned some commands, ...... you may be in luck. Older dogs may not need the same amount of preliminary train- ing that can make puppies frustrating. Older dogs may have outgrown boisterous behaviors, making them ideal for quiet households. Get a pet that is already socialized. Having spent some time in a shelter inter- acting with other animals and people may offer a mea- sure of socialization to the pets. It may be easier to accli- mate the dog to a new envi- ronment. He or she also may be very grateful for having been adopted and be espe- cially devoted. There are many advantages to adopting a pet from an animal shelter. To find area shelters, look in the classified section of your local newspaper. National Web sites, such as PetFinder. org, can also help men and women narrow down the list of available pets. Adopting a pet can be both beneficial to the animal and to the family. ters are purebred, according to the NCPPSE There are actually many benefits to choosing the adoption route. Save a life. There may be no better incentive to adoption than knowing you are saving the life of a dog that would probably be on its way to being destroyed. You are also saving the life of another ani- mal that can then fit into the shelter and get a chance for a forever home. Even pets that are in no-kill shelters may not have the quality of life that they deserve. Often they are kept in cages, and some actually develop personality ticks due to the lack of exer- cise and confinement. Save money. Purchasing a pet can cost a substantial amount of money. Depending on the breed, some dogs can cost hundreds of dollars, or even thousands of dollars for designer breeds. When MCPAWS