Pet Adoption 101

As a long-time pet owner, currently with a dog, two cats and two kids, I can sort of speak from experience on adopting pets.

But instead, I’m turning this column over to an expert.

Meet Jessica Garringer, the Marketing and Development Project Manager for the Humane Society of Greater Dayton.

She will inform and enlighten us all on how easy it is to adopt a new four-legged family member.

First, though some facts that will boggle your mind. “The Dayton area is no stranger to cat overpopulation problems,” Garringer said. “It is estimated there are about 85,000 free-roaming stray cats in Montgomery County alone, with 97 percent of these free-roaming cats unaltered (not spayed or neutered) – the population is growing rapidly with each year.”

Certainly, we can’t just euthanize ourselves out of this problem. In time, the Humane Society believes the best option to impact and address this issue is through a program called Trap-Neuter-Return (TNR).

“Through our program TNR, we have staff members and volunteers humanely trap stray, un-owned cats in the community. They are brought back to the shelter where they are spayed or neutered and ear-tipped, which means a small portion on the tip of the left ear is removed during surgery. This is the universal sign of an altered cat and will help people down the road know this cat has been spayed or neutered. Once they recover from surgery, all healthy cats who appear to have a steady food source are then placed back into the community where they can live their lives without adding to the reproduction issues at hand.” 

But the Humane Society has plenty of cats and dogs ready for adoption and, by the way, it’s pretty easy to do.

“First, we ask, ‘where do you live?’” Garringer said. “If it’s in a small apartment, a Great Dane may not be a good fit for you. Next, ‘who is caring for the pet? Do you have a very busy schedule or are you out of town a lot? What are your plans for your pet when you’re away?

What is your budget?’ Yes, these cute and cuddly pets can pull on your heart strings, but adopting prices can vary drastically between pets. Before entering the animal center, create a pet budget for yourself.

“Finally, ‘are there medical concerns?’” Garringer continued. “Many people are allergic to certain types of pets. From cats and dogs to bunnies and birds, knowing if you have medical limitations will help you in the long run determine a good pet for your household.”

By asking these questions, you can narrow down the search as to what may be the best pet for you.

Once you peruse the pets, the next step is pretty simple.

“If you find a particular pet that has drawn you in, we would ask for you to fill out an adoption application,” Garringer said. “From there, you can go into a ‘bonding room’ with the pet and interact with them one-on-one. If everything on the application checks out and the pet seems to work well with your needs, one of our adoption counselors will go through the adoption process with you and you can go home with your pet that day!”

According to Garringer, right now is the perfect time to adopt.

“We began a competition among 49 other animals shelters nationwide in the ASPCA’s 100K Rachael Ray Challenge,” Garringer explained. “It is our mission to save 1,000 animals by finding them forever homes now through August. Help us reach our goal. Opt to adopt and save a life. As part of Adopt a Shelter Cat Month, this June we will also be offering $10 off all cat and kitten adoptions. Stop by the Humane Society of Greater Dayton at 1661 Nicholas Rd., or one of our 15 offsite adoption locations today and let us find that perfect pet for you.” 

Garringer said there’s no greater feeling than seeing a family adopt a new pet.

“We all become very attached to these animals and although we may shed a few happy tears when some leave our facility, we know giving them the opportunity to live in a happy and healthy home is the best thing we can do for them.” 

So, what are you waiting for? Stop by the Humane Society today. There’s nothing like the unconditional love, loyalty and affection shared by you and your pet.

Take it from me, one who knows firsthand.



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