Adopt a new friend, give a chance at life

By CLAIRE EKAS, Ranger Reporter:

This year Good Morning America has teamed up with one of the world’s largest no-kill shelters, the North Shore Animal League America, in an event called Mission Pawsible.

While this event has gotten many dogs adopted, there are many cats and dogs in shelters that need loving homes.

Amarillo Animal Management Welfare oversees the euthanasia process and has had to euthanize approximately 2,892 animals in 2016 so far.

A few reasons for this high number include overpopulation, lack of resources, and owners not properly confining their pets, vaccinating them, or spaying and neutering them.

When my 16-year-old border collie died earlier this year, I knew I wanted to adopt a shelter dog. My dad and I went to the Amarillo-Panhandle Humane Society to walk around and look at all the dogs.

We left about two hours later with two new additions to our family: a four-month-old red and white border collie/shepherd mix and a 1 year old black and white cow dog. Now, seven months later, we have two intelligent, well-trained dogs named Max and Meredith.

There are many no-kill shelters that focus on pulling dogs and cats from local shelters so they get a second chance at life.

The dogs and cats in places like Amarillo-Panhandle Humane Society and DAWGSnTexas are in desperate need of a forever home. Many shelters include vaccinations, microchipping and spaying or neutering in the adoption fees that are much cheaper than shopping for a pet.

“When you adopt from a kill shelter, you’re immediately saving the pet’s life,” said Lynsie Ramos, a local advocate for responsible pet ownership. “It’s also good to adopt from a rescue group such as Texas Panhandle Pet Savers because they pull from the kill shelter. In turn, that provides space for our shelter and gets another dog off the streets,” Ramos said.

A free option to adopting is fostering. “Fostering saves lives. It costs nothing to you. The shelter or rescue group provides you with the animal’s food, a crate if needed and medical care. You provide love, support, training and shelter,” Ramos said.

Americans bring 7.6 million cats and dogs into shelters every year and approximately 2.7 million are euthanized. These deaths could be prevented if more people adopted and fostered shelter animals instead of shopping for them. When you welcome these kind and loving animals into your home, you gain a lifelong friend.

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