October is recognized nationally as Adopt a Shelter Dog Month.

Whether a cat, dog or other pet, we encourage our readers to always consider shelter animals in need of a home.

Pet adoption just makes sense.

Adopting a pet from a shelter more often than not saves an animal’s life.

Shelters, pet-fostering “parents” and animal-rescue groups have a much wider variety of pets than most people realize.

No matter what you are looking for, regardless of breed, size, temperament or age, there are dogs, cats and other pets needing a forever home.

Many families will find that by adopting an older pet they can avoid some of the issues that are often associated with bringing a puppy or kitten into the home.

Some people just aren’t well suited for house training, coping with a chewing puppy that is teething or getting a cat used to its litter box.

While there are basic fees associated with pet adoption, there is no comparison to the cost of purchasing an animal from a pet store or a breeder.

Literally millions of dogs and cats are put to death each year, because they have no home.

Yet, millions of people bring a new pet into their homes each year, often paying a store or breeder hundreds, if not thousands, of dollars for the animal.

The Thomasville-Thomas County Humane Society offers pet adoptions for $100 for dogs over a year old, $150 for puppies under one year, and $50 for cats six months or older and $100 for kittens under six months old.

All adoption fees include a microchip, vaccinations, deworming, spay/neuter procedure, and valuable take-home information. Dogs are also confirmed to be heartworm negative, according to the Humane Society.

Responsible pet ownership and providing proper care is not only the right thing to do, it is the law.

Basic animal care includes:

• A rabies vaccination. It’s the law.

• Proper shelter and protection from the elements.

• Constant access to fresh, clean water.

• Proper nutrition.

• Heartworm prevention.

• A microchip.

• An annual vet exam.

• Spay/neuter.

Again, we encourage our readers if they are considering bringing a pet into their homes, to visit the animal shelter first and to have serious family discussions about the responsibilities of pet ownership before adopting your new pet.

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