The Humane Society of the United States estimates that 39 percent of U.S. households own at least one dog. If you are part of the 61 percent that does not own a dog and have been thinking of adding a new member to your family, now is the time to do it. October is national Adopt-a-Shelter-Dog Month and the American Humane Association and area animal shelters all across the nation are uniting to promote rescuing a homeless canine.
“Right now there are millions of loving dogs in every size and shape imaginable waiting anxiously in local shelters for a home of their own. By choosing to adopt a dog during Adopt-A-Dog Month, pet lovers are working to decrease the number of animals left homeless each year — a mission American Humane strives for each day,” says Marie Belew Wheatley, former president and CEO of the American Humane Association.
With our economy in crisis and unemployment rates higher than ever, you might be asking yourself if this is really a good time to adopt a dog. If you are having trouble making ends meet, by all means pass on adopting. However, if you are financially secure, a dog makes a wonderful stress reliever in times like these. Dogs also encourage people to exercise, they enhance family and social relationships, and they provide free entertainment. Plus, a dog doesn’t care if you live in a small or large house. They don’t mind that you haven’t updated your family room furnishings since the 1980s. They won’t criticize you for staying in and watching a movie on a Saturday night. And best of all, they won’t judge you for eating an entire pint of Ben and Jerry’s Americone Dream even though you’re, ahem, lactose intolerant.
If you’ve decided that you and your family are ready for a dog, there are some things to consider before you adopt:
• Make sure you are willing to make a 10-15 year commitment to the dog. This means if you change jobs, add to your family, move out of state, etc., your dog goes with you.
• If you have youngsters in the house under five years of age, you may want to consider a larger, mellow dog.
• If there are elderly or physically challenged individuals in the house, you will want to avoid extremely active, adolescent dogs.
• Decide who will be the primary caretaker of the dog. Even though all the family members should share in doggie duties, there should always be one adult who is ultimately responsible for the dog.
• Make sure all the family members are present when a dog is selected. This experience should be shared with the whole family and shouldn’t be a surprise to anyone.
Roughly 10 million animals enter shelters each year in the United States alone. Adopt-a-Shelter Dog Month helps focus attention on the pet population problem we face in this country. Help make a dent in this problem and adopt a dog today. Don’t forget, if you don’t see what you’re looking for at your local animal shelter, you can still rescue an animal by going through www.petfinder.com.
Santa Barbara Rescue Groups are Offering Specials for the Month of October
Santa Barbara Humane Society
Reduced Adoption Fee During the Month of October! There are over 100 dogs eagerly awaiting adoption at the Santa Barbara Humane Society. Among the available adoption dogs are purebreds, mixed breeds, young, old, big, small, and everything in between. They have dogs who are good with children, dogs who would make good running companions, lap dogs, and “therapy dogs” who will make you forget your problems, if only for awhile.
The Humane Society maintains detailed health and temperament profiles on each adoption animal, and will help prospective families make a good match when choosing their new canine companion. Their reduced adoption fee during the month of October is $49 (25-percent off the normal fee) and includes an initial health examination, vaccines, spay/neuter surgery, temperament evaluation, microchip with registration, and a starter pack of food. For more information, visit the Santa Barbara Humane Society at 5399 Overpass Road, or call (805) 964-4777. Shelter hours are Monday-Saturday, 10 a.m.-4:30 p.m. You can also visit www.sbhumanesociety.org for more information.
DAWG Offers Free Spay/Neuter to Pit Bulls and Mixes
Year-round, DAWG provides free spay/neuter, free vaccinations, and free Home Again microchips to pit bulls and pit bull mixes! DAWG (Dog Adoption and Welfare Group) is a no-kill nonprofit dog rescue/adoption organization located at 5480 Overpass Road in Goleta. The public is invited to stop by and look around every day from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. DAWG relies on volunteers to take care of all the dogs, so if you love dogs, think about volunteering! Students are able to fulfill their volunteer community service requirement by volunteering. Volunteer orientations are generally held every other Saturday at 10 a.m. Please contact DAWG for the next meeting. For more information, call (805) 681-0561. You can view adoptable dogs at www.sbdawg.com.
Adoptable Pets of the Week
“Addy” is a gorgeous and playful 8-year-old female (spayed) Australian cattle dog mix. She is an example of “practice makes perfect.” She has had obedience training both in her prior home and at the Humane Society. She is not only very good at following basic commands, but she will also sit comfortably in a crate when told. We just prepared a banner featuring some of our adoption dogs to hang at the shelter and another one to advertise October “Adopt a Dog Month.” The professional photographer, Ken Lee, requested to work with Addy for both banners because she was such a good listener! Like many dogs, she is a bit wary of strangers, better with teenagers than with younger kids, and not used to living with cats. Once she gets to know you, which doesn’t take long, she is a happy, responsive, friendly girl who loves to play and to please.
For more information, visit the Santa Barbara Humane Society at 5399 Overpass Road, or call (805) 964-4777. Shelter hours are Monday-Saturday, 10 a.m.-4:30 p.m. You can also visit www.sbhumanesociety.org for more information.
This 9-year-old Aussie mix is calm and affectionate. To inquire about adopting Dale, visit DAWG in Santa Barbara. DAWG (Dog Adoption and Welfare Group) is a no-kill not-for-profit dog rescue adoption organization located at 5480 Overpass Road in Goleta. For more information, call: (805) 681-0561. You can view more adoptable dogs at www.sbdawg.com. The public is invited to stop by and look around every day from 9 a.m. o 4 p.m. DAWG relies on volunteers to take care of all the dogs, so if you love dogs, think about volunteering! Students are able to fulfill their volunteer community service requirement by volunteering. Volunteer orientations are generally held every other Saturday at 10 a.m. Contact DAWG for the next meeting.
Lisa Acho Remorenko is executive director of Animal Adoption Solutions. Email her email@example.com.