March 2009 - Stacey Howe
I walked into the McDonough County Animal Shelter a couple of days ago, and couldn't help but feel sad.
As soon as the door opened, all of the dogs started going crazy and barking so loud nothing else could be heard. I made my way over to where the cats were kept, and noticed little signs that said "I'm out of time. Please help me find a home!" on almost all of the cages. I asked one of the ladies working at the shelter about them, and she told me that after 21 days, the animals are put to sleep if they are not adopted.
The shelter is filling up fast lately, and they believe it is because of the economy. People are getting laid off, losing money, changing jobs and moving away, and those are all excuses people use to not keep their pet.
The workers at the shelter either get calls about strays, or they find random animals that get dropped off there. People sometimes don't even leave notes to say how old the animal is, what shots it has had or anything else for that matter. This makes it very difficult for the shelter and for the vet who has to vaccinate them. If you have to drop off a pet for any reason, call the shelter and give them information about the animal.
If you or someone you know is thinking about adopting an animal, stop by the shelter and take a look. They get new animals every day. They currently have 32 dogs and 35 cats, so there is a wide range to choose from.
Adopting an animal can be a big investment, but also a good one. Some landlords make students pay to have pets in their homes, but usually you will get some kind of refund back. With a pet, you will always have someone to play with or cheer you up no matter what. Although they can be expensive, I believe having a pet is worth the cost.
Anyone can help out the shelter by giving donations, volunteering or just fostering an animal for a few days. During this time, the shelter is only receiving few donations and they are running out of food for the animals. The animals at the shelter need as much help as they can get. As of right now, almost half of them are being put down.
There are some individuals who go in to help the shelter because they do not have enough people to let the animals out of their cages. The more people who volunteer, the better off the animals will be. Some of them do not get out of their cages very much, so they have to stay in their cages with nothing to do but sleep. Although some animals may enjoy that, after 21 days they won't wake up. To keep this from happening, volunteering is a great way to help. They need to stay healthy and active, but how can they do that without ever getting out of the cage?
If you would like to own a pet but do not want to pay the money, you can take an animal home for a couple days and let it see what a real home is like.
The cost to adopt a dog is $75, and the cost of a cat is $60. If they have had their shots and have been sprayed or neutered it will be an extra $25. This may seem like a lot of money up front, but in the long run, it will be worth it.