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Dogs and cats are still a responsibility

Although our purpose at the NCSPCA is to help homeless or "unwanted" animals find loving homes, we also want to advise our readers that adopting a dog or cat brings with it responsibilities nearly as significant as the adoption of a child. Although you will not have to worry about buying school clothes for your pet or helping him with his or her homework, your pet will have an abundance of health, emotional, and social needs which you will need to consider before you sign those adoption papers.

Kittens and puppies usually require the most attention and training, but even adult animals need significant amounts of social interaction; addressing of problem behaviors; grooming and possibly bathing; and veterinary care. Your cat will need to have a clean litterbox maintained; your dog may need to be housetrained and have frequent "potty breaks" outdoors.

Pets require time and commitment, as well as expense - nutritious food alone can be quite expensive! If your pet has special dietary, health, or other needs, there may be greater expenses. Health concerns such as skin conditions, asthma, diabetes, and digestive disturbances occur in animals as well as people. When you commit to the adoption of a pet, you are also making a promise that you are willing to deal with whatever circumstances arise in the future.

Our featured pet this week is Bodie Bear, a brown and black hound-mix dog who is approximately six months old. Bodie Bear's coat has beautiful markings and he is truly a handsome fellow. He has lots of energy and would love to go for a long run with you - if you are up for the exercise!

He can be a little bit hyper, but this is part of his puppy charm, and we expect he will calm down as he matures into an adult. Bodie Bear loves attention and people of all ages. If you are looking for an older puppy who is eager to please, Bodie Bear is the dog for you!

When you come to the shelter to visit Bodie Bear and our other many pets, this would be a great opportunity to ask about volunteering. If you are seriously considering adopting a pet, especially if you have not had a pet in the past, volunteering is a great way to learn about what is involved in the care of a furry companion. For example, you can help by walking dogs or socializing cats.

Ask the shelter staff what other assistance they need - you will likely find it as rewarding as our pets find your attention to be!

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