October is Adopt a Shelter Dog Month – Las Cruces Sun

Click photo to enlargeOctober is Adopt a Shelter Dog Month as well as Pit Bull Awareness month. People who are looking for “man’s best friend” should check out the hundreds of dogs at Animal Service Center of the Mesilla Valley, Safe Haven Animal Sanctuary, and the Humane Society of Southern New Mexico.
No matter what kind of dog you’re looking for – small or large, young or mature, purebred or mixed breed, outgoing or laid-back – you can find him or her at one of the organizations listed above.

The Adopt a Shelter Dog Month is designed to help focus attention on the pet population problem. An estimated 6 to 8 million animals enter shelters across the country each year.

Responsible pet ownership requires more than simply agreeing to take an animal into your life; the potential adopter should be ready to make a commitment that will enhance the lives of both the human and the animal.

If you’re considering adopting a pet, please review the following questions to ensure that your adopted animal doesn’t end up back at a shelter:

1. Am I ready to make a long-term commitment? Adopting a pet means being responsible for its health and happiness for the rest of his or her life, this could be up to 15 years for dogs.

2. Is the pet right for my household? A strong, active pet may be too much for a young child or elderly person to handle. Small pets may be too delicate for rough play with children. Always make sure that everyone in the household agrees to adopt an animal.

Who will be the

primary caretaker for the pet? One adult in the home should be designated as the primary caretaker so that the pet’s needs do not become lost in the shuffle of busy schedules.

4. Can I afford the animal? The cost of a pet is more than just the purchase price or adoption fee; it’s also the cost of food, pet supplies, veterinary bills and training.

5. Am I ready to commit to making this dog a good canine citizen? A well-trained dog is a pleasure and is welcome in public parks, on walks, and as a visitor. Research shows that people who take the time to train their dogs are more likely to keep them longer than people who don’t. Many people don’t realize that training is not as difficult as they think. Training should be fun for both the pet owner and the dog and usually strengthens the bond between them.

I have been emphasizing because it’s Adopt a Shelter Dog Month. But those who prefer felines can find the “purrfect” kitten or cat at the facilities mentioned above. The same household evaluation is just as important if you are considering adopting a cat
Whether cat or dog, please choose adoption as your first option. Make a difference in the life of a shelter animal today and you’ll enrich your life too.
In recognition of Adopt a Shelter Dog Month, all adoptable dogs at the ASCMV will be available at the following discounted rates the entire month of October:

Pitbulls and pitbull mixes of all ages will be free in honor of Pitbull Awareness Month.

Adult dogs of any breed that have been with the ASCMV more than six months will also be free.

All other adult dogs will be $50.

Puppies (8 months and under) will be the regular fee of $75.

The ASCMV is located at 3551 Bataan Memorial West. If you have questions please call (575-) 382 -0018. We are also having several off-site adoptions every weekend during the month of October. You can find us on Saturdays at the north end of the downtown farmers market 8 a.m. to noon, and at Petco 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. We are even going to be at the Lions Gun Show at the Las Cruces Convention Center; check back for more details.

Dr. Beth Vesco-Mock is executive director of the Animal Service Center of the Mesilla Valley.

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