Treasa Downey, director of the Scituate (Mass.) Animal Shelter, says people should consider shelter pets. “We don’t encourage people buying dogs ... from pet stores (because) we want people to think adoption first.”
If you’re serious about committing to a new pet, you might consider visiting an animal shelter. “We don’t encourage people buying dogs ... from pet stores (because) we want people to think adoption first,” said Treasa Downey, director of the Scituate Animal Shelter.
The shelter in Scituate holds an average of 40 cats and 12 dogs, according to Downey. “We keep them for as long as they need a home,” Downey said. “They all get adopted, some just take longer than others.”
Cats cost about $100 to adopt, while dogs can range from $90 to $250, Downey said. The adoption fee includes vaccination, flea treatment if needed, and neutering of the animal.
Pet adoption agencies work to make sure potential owners are suitable. They do phone screenings, check with vets if the owner has animals or has owned pets in the past, and check with landlords if the owner lives in an apartment to make sure animals will be allowed.
“It’s not to deny them,” said Linda Kippenberger, animal control officer at the Milton Animal Shelter. “It’s to make sure they are doing the right thing.”
Milton’s shelter offers a “seniors to seniors” program, where senior citizens who want companionship can adopt an older cat for a discounted price.
While kittens and puppies are the most popular and usually find homes quickly, an older animal can be just as rewarding, said Julia Fratalia, director of the Standish Humane Society in Duxbury.
The Standish Humane Society doesn’t keep its animals in cages after they become comfortable with their surroundings. The animals are allowed to roam throughout the center.
The adoption process itself can take only a few days to a week, according to Downey, but it is a serious commitment for both the owner and the pet.
“Do your homework, research the type of breed you are looking for, think about your lifestyle,” Downey said. “Don’t make spur of the moment decisions based on emotions.”
Lana Lagomarsini may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
PET CARE ESSENTIALS
FOR CATS:Keep the litter box clean. You may have to experiment with kitty litter to see what the cat likes. Groom your cat regularly to prevent hair balls and shedding.
FOR DOGS:Outfit your dog with an ID tag in case he gets lost. And you can consider having a microchip implanted under your dog’s skin. with a microchip. Give your dog enough exercise to keep him physically fit. - this can help both the owner and the dog. Give them enough exercise to feel healthy.