By ASHLEY WELFORD-COSTELLOE
There are few things in life that compare to the wonderful connection we have with animals. Whether it’s a nice long walk with a dog, curling up with a cat or watching your pet rabbit hop around the room, there is nothing like the unconditional love and companionship given by our animal friends. Many people have pets these days. While some purchase them from a pet store or animal breeder, others choose to adopt an animal from their local humane society.
So how does a person go about adopting an animal? Since the humane society deals with animal cruelty on a daily basis, there are a few steps a person needs to take before the adoption can be approved. Jen Maciel, animal care co-ordinator of the Kitchener Waterloo Humane Society, said people can either view the animals on the website or in person. “Once they see an animal they like, animal care will assist them with the adoptions. We have rooms where you can spend some time with the animal before deciding. If it is a dog you can take it out for a walk. Then you fill out the adoption survey and agreement. The adoption counsellor will look over the survey to see if you are compatible with the dog. We do behaviour and personality assessments to match them up with the right home. For example, OK with kids or adult home only. If you meet the adoption requirements for the dog you have chosen then the next step is to have all the family come in and meet the animal.”
Maciel also said that if, for example, the person was adopting a dog and there was another dog in the home, that dog would have to come in and meet the other dog.
Animals available for adoption, other than the obvious cats and dogs, include rats, guinea pigs, rabbits, mice and even birds.
So what happens to those animals nobody wants to adopt? Maciel said once animals make it into adoption they all find a home. If an animal has been at the humane society for more than a few months, they will contact another shelter and have the animal transferred there. However, this rarely happens.
What if an animal has been injured? What kind of care goes into healing an injured animal?
“Injured animals, depending on the injury, may have to immediately go to the vet and be treated,” said Maciel. “Animal care will triage the animal before deciding to send it to the vet right away or they will have our shelter vet check it when they come in. We actually have a kitten in foster care right now that had a leg amputation. The kitten came in missing some of its leg. It was seen by a vet and put on medication until the time of surgery.”
Maciel added that the surgery was successful and the kitten is currently recovering in foster care. It will eventually be put up for adoption. Adoption fees differ for each animal: cats and kittens are $175, dogs and puppies are $270, small animals are $10, larger animals are $20, budgies are $15, and cockatiels are $25.
For more information on animal adoption, check out the Kitchener Waterloo Humane Society website at www.kwhumane.com.