The Star-Herald

Responsible pet ownership

The wonderful Central Aroostook Humane Society employees see day in and day out in their work how pet ownership enhances the lives of so many people. They believe pets are good for people.

They are loyal, devoted to pleasing their owners and bring fun and comfort. But they need us just as much as we want to own them.

The choice of pet is so important for that relationship to be a fulfilling one. The investigation into the commitments of pet ownership before embarking on owning a pet should be thorough.

When adopting, you are making a commitment to care for an animal for the rest of his life — that could mean 10 to 15 years for dogs and up to 20 years for cats. As you go through lifestyle changes such as moves, the birth of children and new jobs, your animal will remain a permanent part of your life. If circumstances change, will you still be able to care for your pet?

Your personality and lifestyle, along with challenges such as space restrictions and amount of time spent at home, should be explored to determine what pet is right for your household. 

First and foremost, what type of pet is going to suit what you can offer?   Research different breeds and ask shelter staffers for guidance — they’re experts at making perfect matches. Any pet requires consideration about their care 24/7, 365 days of the year, for their lifetime. Every pet deserves to be warm, comfortable, fed and watered correctly, exercised for mental and physical health and treated with kindness at all times.

The Animal Welfare Act of 2006 has fortunately provided pets with protection they have not always enjoyed. Owners have a duty of care to ensure that the needs of their pets are met.

The welfare of pets is the priority of our local veterinarians, and they are there to offer you the very best advice to keep them in their prime. There is a massive amount of information available regarding pets — on the internet, in the media and commercially. This can be overwhelming and often conflicting. What do you believe?

Experienced veterinary professionals with a genuine desire to care for pets can help you to make sense of all that information.  They have years of training and experience, are friendly and approachable and are best equipped to advise you on what your pet needs.

Pets do not have a voice and their welfare is in the hands of those who adopt them. They deserve respect, kindness and good health in return for the pleasure and unfailing loyalty they give us.

Visit hookvet.com for more information and tips.  Please stop by the Central Aroostook Humane Society if you are looking for a new furry family member.  Our hours are Tuesday through Saturday, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. 

Please be responsible: spay and neuter your pets.

Gloria J. Towle is the secretary and a member of the board of directors of the Central Aroostook Humane Society.

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