Many times I have found myself in a friendly argument with a friend about the advantages of adopting a shelter animal vesus buying a purebred pet. Many people seem to be under the misconception that shelter pets are simply the animals "no one wants" - but nothing could be further from the truth. Pets arrive at the shelter for a multitude of reasons: their owners are moving to a place that does not allow pets; unexpected puppies or kittens that are born to an un-neutered pet; pets who have been neglected or mistreated by their former owners; pets who were lost or abandoned; pets who required more care and attention than their owners were prepared to give; and many other reasons. The Humane Society of the United States quotes statistics that actually 25-30 percent of animals in shelters are purebred.

Shelter animals receive a high level of care and attention from the shelter staff. Upon arriving at the shelter, they are assessed for any health conditions or behavioral concerns. They receive veterinary treatment to ensure their vaccinations and up to date and they are free of parasites. Staff interact on a daily, instensive basis with the animals so that they can provide you with a clear picture of the pet's personality before you adopt. Shelter fees are also considerably cheaper than more pet store costs, and you can be sure that your payment will go toward the care of other needy animals - not in the pocket of a pet store owner. In addition, new animals constantly arrive at the shelter - if you visit and do not find an animal who seems to be the perfect pet for you, come back in a week or two, and you may be surprised!

Our featured pet this week is Kimber, a young, female, domestic-shorthair Tabby-mix who has a startlingly wild face. Her large ears and wide eyes will immediately catch your attention, if her high level of activity and inquisitiveness do not! Kimber likes to be "in charge" and she would love to be the queen of your home. Upon arrival in your home, she will check out every nook and cranny to be sure there is nothing interesting that has escaped her notice. She enjoys the company of people, but hasn't decided whether she likes other cats. Any introductions to other kitties in residence should be gradual, with lots of reassurance. Kimber would love to find a home where she can share her adolescent exuberance with someone!

When you come to the shelter to visit Kimber, be sure to stop and talk to the staff if there is a particular type of pet you are looking for - if you would like a dog who is good with children, a lap cat, or a pet who is housetrained. Our staff are our best resource and are always happy to help you find the perfect furry friend! Stop by at 23 Lakeshore Road to meet the many wonderful animals who are hoping to have a home for the New Year!

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