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The Mass Media

The Mass Media

The Mass Media

Adopting a Pet

It takes a caring, compassionate and responsible person to take a pet into his or her home. While puppies, kittens or any animal may be cute when they are little, they require a lot of work and continued love throughout life. Before you make the admirable decision to adopt a pet, be sure to ask yourself a few questions:

* Why do you want a pet? Adopting a pet just because it’s “the thing to do,” or because the kids have been pining for a puppy usually ends up being a big mistake. Don’t forget that pets may be with you 10, 15 even 20 years.

* Do you have the time and resources to care for a pet adequately? Dogs, cats and other animal companions cannot be ignored just because you’re tired or busy. They require food, water, exercise, care and companionship every day of every year. Many animals in shelters are there because their owners didn’t realize how much time it took to care for them. Veterinary care and pet supplies can be costly, so be sure you can afford a furry little friend.

* Does your housing complex allow pets? Be sure to check with your head of household for restrictions on pets. You don’t want to adopt a new pet just to find out you can’t keep it! Also be sure you have enough room for the size animal and its supplies, and be sure to consider the rapid growth of young animals.

* Do you have any other pets? If so, you may want to schedule a “meeting” before bringing your new pet home for good. It’s also important to consider the other people in your house and any allergies that may exist. * Are you ready to deal with the responsibilities of a pet? These include things like spaying and neutering, obeying leash and pet laws and providing necessary veterinary care.

It’s important to remember that when you adopt a pet, even if it is an adult, you are making a commitment to care for the animal for his or her lifetime.

So now that you have made the decision to adopt (you are a hero!), what type of pet are you looking for? Are you a dog person or cat person? Do you prefer constant companionship or a pet that has a sense of independence? (Don’t be fooled, not all cats are solitary animals; my little Curtis loves to jump and cuddle and nip just like a little puppy!) Be sure to consider temperament of the animal, too. Smaller dog breeds tend to be more hyper than larger breeds, and mixed breeds tend to be more social than some purebreds. By matching your pet to your personality and lifestyle, it ensures you and your pet will be able to bond and share a lasting connection.

Adopting a pet from an animal shelter not only helps animals that have been given a second chance, it may also help to minimize breeder abuse and the use of mills to breed animals for sale in pet stores. While the animals in pet stores may be the youngest, and thus most attractive to buyers, older pets have much to offer you. Plus, you may get the added benefit of getting a pet that is already housebroken and trained! Regardless of whether you get a newborn or an elderly pet, choosing to adopt a pet is an admirable choice that is rewarding, selfless and a great way to give back to an animal that needs a good, loving friend. Animals help relieve stress, increase vitality and cure the blues. They are also excellent companions and provide hours of comic fodder and lots of snuggles. It’s true-pets are good for the soul.Shelters in the Boston area

Mansfield Animal Shelter Mansfield, MA (508) 261-7339

Merrimack River Feline Rescue Society Salisbury,MA (978) 462-0760

Animal Rescue League Boston (617) 426-9170

Animal Shelter Inc. Sterling, MA (978) 422-8585

Northeast Animal Shelter Salem, MA (978) 745-9888

Useful websitesPetfinder.com



About the Contributor
Amy Julian served as the arts editor for The Mass Media the following years: 2008-2009;