Out & About Magazine May 2014

Page 19

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Rescue Me Adopting a pet from a local shelter or rescue organization can be a great decision—for both you and the pet By Scott Pruden

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ong, cold nights like those we’ve experienced this winter can sometimes prompt people to seek fresh companionship. While some will hit Internet dating sites for a hook-up (See February O&A), there are those who will instead look for a new companion that’s frisky, furry and friendly—and doesn’t come with pesky demands for movies and dinners out. It’s easy to understand why. Pets enrich our lives and those of our families by providing unconditional love of a sort that can only be found between animals and their human companions. Even science agrees that pets are good for us. Research has shown that they help lower blood pressure, reduce anxiety and engage those of us who thought we were too old for tossing a ball in the yard. And acquiring a pet is much easier than trolling the internet for action. In New Castle County alone, there are multiple shelters, rescue organizations and pet fostering groups to choose from. Why adopt from a shelter? It turns out the answers, according to the ASPCA, are pretty straightforward.

First, by taking home a shelter animal you’re quite possibly saving its life, and whether that animal realizes it or not, he or she will still be appreciative of being in a loving home, as opposed to a shelter. Second, you have the benefit of getting a pet that is pretty likely to have come from excellent circumstances, but was the victim of significant changes in its human owners’ lives. “There’s no one reason people leave pets at a shelter,” says Patrick Carroll, executive director at the Delaware Humane Association. “Usually there is a change in life— people have a new job and they can’t care for the animal as they did, or they can’t have a pet in an apartment, or someone in the house is having a problem with allergies.” What’s more, adopting a shelter animal is usually more pocketbook-friendly than buying one from a breeder or pet store. Shelter animals are given a full medical examination before being accepted and are then brought up to date on vaccinations. If the dog or cat is not already spayed or neutered, the shelter will either have the surgery performed or cover the cost for adopters. And the fees you pay to adopt from a shelter go directly to help other animals get adopted. ► MAY 2014 | OUTANDABOUTNOW.COM

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