No-kill column: Adopting a pet brings great joy

January 8, 2013 

What a great adoption event we had at the end of December. What a way to end the year. What an awesome success story for us to talk about: 101 dogs and cats found new homes and new people to love them and give them a second chance.

These are happy times and something to look forward to as we enter the new year.

The adoption event days were the busiest few days I have seen for as long as I can remember. Individuals and entire families showed up by the dozens to look at our homeless dogs and cats at our shelter in Palmetto and adoption center in downtown Bradenton.

When it was all over, all said and done, 101 dogs and cats got homes. That's 101 dog and cat faces with smiles stretched whisker to whisker.

The adoption event was such an overwhelming success that we actually ran out of dogs and cats for adoption at the downtown adoption center. That's not a bad thing. Who would have ever thought we could run out of dogs and cats downtown?

The dogs and cats, I am sure, want to see adopters continue to visit and pick one of their friends to go to a new home. The sheltered dogs and cats won't ever give up on you, so please don't give up on them.

Adopting a shelter dog or cat gives you a feeling that can't be described. To think you have the ability to give a shelter pet a second chance to live and love.

Dogs and cats impounded at the shelter had families at one time. These dogs and cats were either abandoned or kicked out by their people onto the street or just neglected and left to fend for themselves. Those that were lost were never found by

their families or were never looked for, or maybe never missed. That's where you come in, giving a new home and a new life to a shelter pet.

We at Animal Services end up with these pets, these sad dogs and cats, and try hard to make each one happy again while in our care. The ultimate enjoyment is being with each one of them going to their furrever home.

I like nothing more than to hear the sound of the old school bell ringing outside our adoption center in Palmetto. Each adopter is asked to ring this bell as they leave the shelter. It has become known to everyone that every time the bell rings, a shelter pet has found its forever home.

I cannot express the feelings we all have to walk through the shelter each day, looking at all the dogs and cats. Not one of them asked to be in the shelter. None of them were impounded by their own choice.

Just to see the joy and excitement on each of their faces, and in their actions when someone walks by as if to say, "Pick me! Pick me!" Then, to see their proud look as they prance out our front door when they do get "picked."

Have you thought about a dog or cat being a part of your family or a companion for life? Visit the shelter to see for yourself what each one of the sheltered pets has to offer.

If you never have to look into the eyes of a dog or cat and make a choice, you are lucky. One day, we all would like to be lucky.

Check out Manatee County Animal Services on Facebook. Like us and share us with all your friends.

Our web site -- www.mymanatee.org/pets -- has a wealth of information, including your new family member for adoption.

Or call 941-742-5933 for information.

Kris Weiskopf, chief of Manatee County Animal Services, writes this weekly column for the Bradenton Herald.

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