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Mans best friend: Adopt, don’t shop

2.7 million dogs and cats are euthanized every year because they'res not enough adoptive homes.

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2.7 million dogs and cats are euthanized every year because they'res not enough adoptive homes.

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You might be thinking about inviting a furry friend into your home, but have you thought about where these animals come from?  If you choose to buy a pet instead of adopt, you’re probably going to be buying from a puppy mill.

Puppy mills are a commercial dog breeding facility. They care more about money than the well-being of the dogs in their care. Dogs in puppy mills are kept in crowded areas without proper care. These dogs often go without much food, water, or socialization. Females are bred constantly and rarely get time to recover in between litters. Puppies from puppy mills are sold online, at flea markets, and at pet stores. The cages these dogs are kept in are stacked on top of each other and have wire flooring, which hurts their paws and causes stress. Female dogs that can no longer reproduce are often killed.

Puppy mills are in business to make a profit. They, and other similar businesses, churn out puppies and kittens as fast as they can. These animals often have poor health and lack social skills. They’re not bad dogs, however. People often assume that dogs wind up in shelters because of their behavioral problems, but this isn’t true. Some reasons for them ending up in a shelter is that their owner is relocating, the owner has issues with the landlord, the cost to take care of a pet is too much for the owner, the owner has no time to properly care for them, the owner has too many animals, or the owner has other personal problems. It’s not necessarily the pet’s fault.

Regardless of where you get your pet, you should consider all of the work and time that it will require to take care of an animal, such as the expense. There are adoption fees, grooming, food, pet supplies, and veterinary care to consider. Also, not all pets can become best friends within the first week. Some require temporary separation from pets already living at home to make sure that they can co-exist in the long run. Ask if the pet you want to adopt prefers to be the only furry friend in the house or if they don’t mind others. If you aren’t prepared to invest time into caring for and teaching your pet new behaviors and helping them adjust, you shouldn’t adopt just yet. Remember that these animals have felt unwanted, unsafe, and abandoned already. You need to make them feel safe and loved.  Before adopting them, make sure you have all the proper necessities. You need, toys, leashes, food, crates, treats, and more. Most adoption centers have plenty of products available to purchase after you adopt. Also, make sure to get approval from your landlord before adopting; it’s important to make sure that you’re allowed to have a pet where you live before you get one. A lot of animals end up at the shelter because the owner isn’t allowed to have a pet, so if you end up having to bring the animal back it can be especially hurtful to them.

If you’re wondering how to adopt, you can start by checking the online listings for your local shelter or stopping by to check the animals out in person. Once you get there, you will be greeted by staff members that will be there to help. You can walk around the shelter and if you want to meet with an animal, you can ask a staff member for assistance. Once you find an animal you want to adopt, they’ll want to have a meeting with you to make sure you and your pet are the perfect match. At this time, you’ll also receive the pet’s medical records and any other information you might need.

The Humane Society is a great place to adopt a new furry friend. They have so many animals just waiting for a new home and other animals waiting to take their place at the shelter. Here’s are a couple of the pets you can currently adopt from the Harford County Humane Society:

Petunia: Is a two year old Pit bull terrier/mix, female, large, red color. Intake date is 1/16/18. This dog is so calm, she’s absolutely beautiful and she is looking for a forever home.

Jolie: “Jolie is a superstar! She made her TV debut on WBAL- TV 11 Baltimore and her radio debut on Smash Hits WHGM! This energetic little lady is looking to start her 2018 in a new home. She loves people, but she does prefer to be the only furry member in the household.  She is trained and loves to walk and hike! Jolie is a great reason to get out and get healthy for the New Year. She’s a two year old Pit Bull/ Terrier mix, has a light brown color and her intake date is 12/22/17” – Harfordshelter.org

There are many other places to adopt from, too. If you can’t or don’t want to adopt from the Humane Society, Luna’s House is also a great place to go if you’re thinking about adopting a furry little friend.

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Mans best friend: Adopt, don’t shop