Posted by: secondchancehumanesociety | October 22, 2008

Adopt a Dog Month

Snoopy Dog

Snoopy Dog

Hi Pet Column Readers, my name is Snoopy and, as the Second Chance Humane Society Spokesdog for Adopt a Shelter Dog Month, I want to share with you important information about this nationally recognized month.  Sponsored by the American Humane Society, this massive campaign highlights all the wonderful homeless dogs (big, small, young & old) waiting at shelters like Second Chance to be adopted.

For years dogs have been recognized as “Person’s Best Friend” but how did the canine earn such a high seat in the hierarchy of the human-animal connection?  What images are evoked when you think of the relationship between the original “Snoopy” and his soulmate Charlie Brown?  What about the historical bonds of Lassie, Petey, Benji, Beethoven, and Rin Tin Tin and their humans?    

Dogs enhance people’s lives, we make you laugh and allow you to feel unconditionally loved and accepted.  Dogs define loyalty.  Dogs further enhance the lives of their human counterparts through promoting exercise and our emotional support helps to lower blood pressure, prevent heart disease, depression, and loneliness of our human companions. Plus, dogs often serve as “social aids,” helping people get to know others, sparking conversations, and encouraging increased social contact and greater bonds between people.

Despite this, millions of dogs are surrendered to animal welfare organizations across the country every year.  It is not because we are bad or unlovable, but because our parents find they can no longer care for us – for a variety of reasons.   Thus careful thought should be applied regarding the commitment that dog adoption involves – up to 15+ years.  Consider the following:

  • Choose a dog based on your living space, lifestyle, and budget. Second Chance Staff can help you make the right decision and match you to your new best friend.
  • Discuss the needs, concerns, fears, and medical conditions (like allergies!) of everyone in the family. Decide how much time you each can spend with the animal and the amount of responsibility each person will have. Will this be adequate?
  • Be realistic. Promises made by children are likely to fade after the initial excitement of having a pet wears off. Adults in the family should expect to provide most of the animal’s care.

I strongly encourage you to make a sound decision based on your lifestyle and future plans.  Remember, adopting a dog is an opportunity of a lifetime!

And, for people who are not able to incorporate a new dog into their current lives, Second Chance and American Humane are encouraging everyone to honor Adopt-A-Dog Month in other ways, such as:

  • Contribute time, money or needed supplies to your local shelter.
  • Secure all pets with a reliable form of ID. Only about 15 to 20 percent of dogs who end up in animal shelters are ever reunited with their families. A reliable ID is their “ticket” home.
  • Spay or neuter your pet. There are already too many pets and not enough loving homes to go around!
  • Become an advocate for the humane treatment of all animals.

Celebrate Adopt-A-Dog Month by visiting Second Chance today. It’s the perfect time to save a pet’s life and make a new friend!

Call the Second Chance Helpline at 626-2273 to report a lost pet or learn about SCHS Spay/Neuter Vouchers, Volunteer & Foster Care and other Programs.  Visit www.secondchancehumanesociety.org to see our adoptable pets.  Responses to Pet Columns can be sent to Kelly@secondchancehumanesociety.org.

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