By Phil Snyder, Executive Director of Suncoast Humane Society
Published in the Englewood Sun on October 30, 2015
There is approximately one week remaining in October, which in the animal welfare world is known as Adopt A Dog Month. The intent of the celebrated month is to create awareness of the benefits of adopting a dog from a shelter or rescue group. It also affords the opportunity to promote that powerful human-animal bond.
This annual event was originated by the American Humane Association in 1981. Thirty some years later the message, "Please Adopt" is as important as ever. There are still millions of homeless dogs and cats for that matter in need of adoption. They are in shelters right now, and every month of the year.
We know that adopting that special dog can give you a best friend, a true companion, an exercise buddy or just a fuzzy face to greet you at the end of a hard day. Adopting or rescuing a dog can save a life and is certain to enhance yours. And just think, offering a homeless pet a safe, loving home can also make you feel like a hero!
You still have some time to take advantage of special adoption fees at Suncoast Humane Society or promotions at other area shelters celebrating Adopt A Dog month. However, if you are not quite ready for the responsibility of adding a pet to the family, I wouldn't worry too much.
Next month or any month can be that special Adopt A Pet Month for you and your family. Whenever you are ready you will find dogs of all types, sizes, ages, and personalities who are in need of homes plus a variety of cats, rabbits, ferrets, hamsters, gerbils and maybe even birds.
Right now, however, there are ways other than adopting which you can help celebrate Adopt A Dog Month, and you do still have time. Here are a few ideas to consider.
- You can make an appointment to have your pet spayed or neutered. This is the sure way to prevent the birth of unexpected and unwanted litters. Please remember, shelters will never be able to adopt their way out of euthanasia as long as we experience pet over-population.
- Have your pets micro-chipped to provide positive identification if they should become lost. Avoid the possibility of your pet ending up in an animal shelter, or suffering a far worse fate while roaming the streets.
- And last, but so important, please support your local humane society by donating money or wish list supplies and become a volunteer. Adopting a dog or not, you can help make a difference.