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Consider shelters when adopting animals

By Staff | Jan 14, 2011

If you’re thinking of adopting a pet, animal shelters are an option.

But Denise Cambiotte, supervisor for the Jefferson County Animal Control (JCAC) Shelter, said there is more to owning a pet other than making sure they have food, water and shelter.

“It’s a lifelong commitment. Owning a pet takes research and careful planning to bring the right animal into your home,” she said.

Bringing pets into the home is not as easy as it sounds. According to the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, a lot of pets that are given as gifts at Christmas time end up at the local pound. There are several tips that should be followed before you adopt a pet.

When considering adoption, talk to family members about what they want.

Discuss everyone’s likes and dislikes, Cambiotte said. Large dogs may be too strong or active for young children, for example, while some people may simply prefer cats over canines.

If you’re getting a pet for your children, do not expect them to do all the work, Cambiotte said. Children, no matter how mature, need constant supervision and help handling the responsibility of a cat or dog. Ultimately, the parent is responsible.

Teach your children about responsible pet ownership before you adopt, and make sure they are ready for the changes a new pet will bring.

Cambiotte said it’s important to learn about pet care and explain to your children that walking a dog several times a day or cleaning a cat’s litter box is part of the ongoing responsibility of caring for an animal.

Make sure a pet suits your home and lifestyle.

Your personality and lifestyle, along with challenges, such as space restrictions and the amount of time your family spends at home, should be explored to determine which pet is right for your household, Cambiotte said.

“Think of adopting a dog or cat like you are bringing a new member into your family because that in a sense is what you are doing. Many people treat their pets as if they were family members,” she said.

Cambiotte would like to see more animals adopted in 2011.

“Please contact the shelter if you see a dog that you would be interested in meeting. We make every effort to get our dogs into rescue programs or good adoptable homes,” she said.

There are several places to adopt a pet. In Jefferson County one of the places to go, including the Jefferson County Animal Control is a county-run shelter located in Kearneysville at 161 Poor Farm Road. The shelter hours are 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday. For more information, call (304) 728-3289.