Archive for Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Five questions: Pet adoptions

This cat is one of several homeless pets waiting to be adopted at the Great Plains SPCA's Pet Adoption Center at 5424 Anitoch Drive in Merriam.

This cat is one of several homeless pets waiting to be adopted at the Great Plains SPCA's Pet Adoption Center at 5424 Anitoch Drive in Merriam.

January 29, 2013

Staff at Great Plains SPCA, which operates one of the region’s busiest pet adoption centers in Merriam, answered five questions about the four-legged friends they take in and adopt out.

Q: How many animals do you handle?

A: Last year, we took in more than 4,300. We are a “no-kill center,” which means a 90 percent or higher live release rate. But we actually have a 96 percent or higher rate. If an animal comes to us for help, we will do everything we can to help them be happy and healthy in a home.

Q: Why adopt rather than buy from a breeder or pet store?

A: We’ve got great pets; about a fourth of our dogs and cats are purebred. Every pet has been spayed or neutered, microchipped and vaccinated. We even do behavioral assessments and have a trainer on staff if the pet needs extra care. All that’s included in the adoption fee ($75 to $200). And besides saving money, you’re saving a life — actually two. You save the life of the adopted animal and free up the space for us to help another.

Q: Any adoption advice?

A: Consider your schedule and investigate the needs of different breeds, which vary dramatically.

Q: Are there advantages to adopting older pets?

A: Having already gone through their puppy or kitten stages, housebreaking is behind them. Also, they don’t require as much stimulation or exercise, and you know what you’re getting.

Q: Are there other ways to help besides adoption?

A: We are constantly looking for volunteers, and our medical center is always looking for foster parents. We also need donations; we wouldn’t be able to survive without the benevolence of the community.

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