Kris Weiskopf: July 30, 2013: Compelling reasons to adopt shelter pets

July 30, 2013 

Reasons to adopt a shelter pet are unlimited.

To start with, we can only hope everyone who decides to make a dog or cat part of their life and family chooses to look for a shelter pet in the beginning.

One of the best things about adopting a homeless pet is knowing you are helping save a life and knowing every shelter dog and cat deserves a second chance.

The cost of adopting a dog or cat is relatively inexpensive, even though shelter pets are priceless. For $80 to adopt a dog and $40 to adopt a cat, just think about what is included.

Your adopted dog or cat will have a health check, be vaccinated, including for rabies, tested for heartworms in dogs and feline leukemia in cats, and females are spayed and males are neutered. Spaying and neutering is important so there aren't any more unwanted births of puppies and kittens.

Adopting a dog or cat from our shelter frees space for other homeless and stray dogs and cats, especially since we are diligently working toward becoming a no-kill community.

Every dog or cat not purchased from a pet store or backyard breeder is another one eliminated from being able to contribute to the potential of unwanted and unsterilized dogs and cats.

Adopting a shelter pet can open children to knowing the importance of helping a homeless dog or cat. It can also help them understand compassion and responsibility.

How wonderful thefeeling to be able to provide a forever home for a dog or cat that may have to live in a cage or kennel for a long period of time.

Providing a life outside the shelter and love for your pet is rewarding. What you get in return is unconditional love.

Our shelter has a wide variety of dogs and cats you will not find anywhere else. We have everything from specific breeds to Florida brown dogs to mixed breeds; long-haired cats and short-haired cats of all varieties, too. When your friends ask where you got your amazing pet, you can proudly tell them from Manatee County Animal Services. Encourage your friends and others to do the same.

In today's world, more people are becoming aware of all the benefits associated with adopting a shelter pet. There are always those wanting the pet store puppy or kitten, falling for their cute folds of skin and softness. You can get the same from a shelter pet.

You can also adopt an older dog or cat that's already trained and housebroken. In the end, you really never know what you may be getting, but knowing you thought it through and adopted a shelter pet should be gratifying in itself.

Give it a try and visit our shelter today. Who knows, one may not be enough either.

To update everyone with the great adoption event last Saturday, 18 dogs and 15 cats found their forever homes. We can't thank everyone who was involved with the event enough! Thank you!

Watch for more coming events and adoption specials. Don't forget the ongoing BOGO special where you can adopt a dog or cat at the regular adoption fee and get a dog or cat for no adoption fee. Also, any dog or cat in the shelter for more than 60 days is available for no adoption fee.

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, too.

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

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