Find a Four-Legged Roommate at the Montgomery County SPCA
I assume there are many animal lovers out there in District-land (and beyond), and I’m one of them.
Let’s face it, people can be downright awful, and sometimes the only creature that’ll be your friend, a true friend, is one with four legs and covered with fur.
There are many needy animals in the area looking for a good home, and today we’re happy to have Julie Palakovich Carr of theMontgomery County Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (Montgomery County SPCA) tell you why you should adopt a pet from her organization. If you do, your Montgomery County digs will have gotten a little nicer.
I love coming home. It’s not just because the workday is over. It’s because I know that a friendly face awaits me at the front door, complete with a wagging tail and squeaker toy in her mouth.
Until my husband and I rescued our black Labrador retriever, Maggie, four years ago, I had always felt that our home was empty. Now that we have Maggie, our household feels complete. Home would not be home without the sound of Maggie’s tail slapping the floor in delight or feeling her wet nose pushing on my hand to urge more petting.
Of course, having a pet is not all fun and games – although there are plenty of those. Chasing a dog through the woods while it pursues a deer or discovering that your furry friend has shredded the book you were reading are not pleasant experiences. But such events are thankfully few and far between.
Life with a pet, particularly a rescued animal, is full of small joys, like enjoying a walk on a fine day or curling up together on the couch.
In my experience fostering dogs for the Montgomery County SPCA, pets that have had the unfortunate experience of being in an animal shelter are generally very grateful to settle into a permanent home.
Some would-be adopters worry that a rescued cat or dog will not bond with them like a kitten or puppy. That is simply untrue. Although there is merit in the notion that it takes time to build a relationship with a new pet, it will happen regardless of the animal’s age. I have fostered dogs ranging in age from ten months to 10 years, and all of them bonded with me in a matter of days or weeks. And like a good wine, that bond develops more depth and complexity over time.
If you are thinking about getting a new pet, please consider rescuing a cat or adopting a dog. Beyond the moral imperative to change an animal’s life for the better, adopting a rescued pet makes sense financially. Believe it or not, some breeders and pet stores don’t provide the medical care your new pet needs to ensure its health. On the contrary, some rescue organizations, including the Montgomery County SPCA, provide their animals with extensive medical care prior to adoption. All of the animals available for adoption from the Montgomery County SPCA have been examined by a vet, spayed/neutered, treated for parasites, and tested for heartworm (dogs) or FeLV/FIV (cats).
Our animals have the additional benefit of living in foster homes while they await adoption. This means they are getting lots of love and attention and are working on their manners so that when they go to their forever home, they are happy and well-adjusted. Renters are welcome to apply to adopt a pet from us; you’ll just need to provide proof that your landlord allows pets in the building.
Since the Montgomery County SPCA is an all-volunteer rescue organization, we depend on our volunteers to do everything from organize adoption events to raise money to cover the animals’ medical care. We are currently most in need of foster homes for cats and dogs. Fosters can select the animal they care for and the Montgomery County SPCA pays for that animal’s medical care.
Whether you are ready to adopt or are interested in fostering an animal in need, won’t you open your heart and home to a rescued animal?
Julie Palakovich Carr is a volunteer with the Montgomery County SPCA in Maryland.
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