Animal welfare

Animal welfare workers stress the importance of adoption

(WKBN) – It’s National Adopt a Shelter Dog Month. According to the ASPCA, each year 6.3 million pets enter shelters across the country.

“The only thing that can help solve the problem is for people to adopt,” said Jane MacMurchy of the Animal Charity of Ohio.

MacMurchy says that right now, getting new animals into their shelter is like playing Tetris, and there’s no indication that the summer influx of animals is abating.

“If you can, adopt an animal from us that’s an open cage that we can use for a dying animal that’s out there in our community that needs saving,” MacMurchy said.

She said there are benefits to adopting a dog or cat from a shelter. New owners are familiar with the animal’s behavior and know that it has been cared for by a veterinarian, which is a plus when it can sometimes take months to get a vet appointment.

“They’re neutered, neutered, microchipped, rabies tags, all the meds they need,” MacMurchy said.

Animal Charity isn’t the only facility filled with adoptable animals.

Angels for Animals’ medical director says they’ve had an influx of dogs that people have had during the pandemic and then surrendered.

“We have a lot of dogs and puppies that have never been socialized, never trained,” Theresa McGuire said.

An Angels for Animals employee is currently raising a dog named Gilbert, but they have dozens of other dogs in need of homes, like Duke, who was brought in when a passerby saw a man throw him out of his truck. He had a broken leg which was amputated and is recovering at the shelter.

Such a major injury strains the shelter’s resources. McGuire said if you’re considering adopting a pet, give it time to settle into your home.

“It usually takes a solid three months to get this dog to where he fully trusts you,” McGuire said.

MacMurchy says if you’re not ready to adopt, consider fostering. She says it gives you a chance to be with animals without a lifetime commitment and it’s good for pets too.

“Take an animal out of the shelter and give it a chance to decompress,” McGuire concluded.