Monday, October 27, 2008

Party Animals finding Homes

by Alex Moorhead

The Athens County Humane Society hosts an adoption event for dogs and cats once every two months at the University Mall, but this adoption weekend was special. The animals participated in a costume contest with other families' pets. There were around 20 contestants competing to win titles such as funniest, most original, scariest.

A Place to Stay Forever
Although the event was in a cheerful environment, there were still dogs and cats that needed a place to live. "Our goal is to place animals in the homes they'll stay forever," says vice president of the Athens Humane Society Shelley Lieberman. Halfway through the day there were around four cats and a couple dogs adopted, which is good says Lieberman.

Friends of Pets
There were many origanizations there to help raise money for the Humane Society. The business fraternity Delta Sigma Pi was at its table getting out the word about spaying and neutering pets to help lower the overpopulation of pets in Athens County-- the core of the problem. Volunteers from the organization Friends of the Shelter Dogs provided the dogs for adoption. The organization also talked with people about legislation that targets specific breeds of dogs, such as pitt bulls, and why it believes this type of legislation is wrong.

Pet Overpopulation in a College Town
Some students come to college and miss their pets, so they rush to the pound or pet store and get a pet without thinking about the responsibility that comes with it. Lieberman says students should think about veterinarian costs, and ask themselves if they a present and post-graduation living situation that's pet friendly.

Shelley Lieberman with tips on deciding to adopt a pet

How to Adopt an Animal
It's an application process to adopt a pet from the Humane Society. First, you fill out the application, then the Humane Society schedules an interview and a possible home visit. Lieberman says Society volunteers try to guide people in the right direction for the pet they want. For example; if a couple wants an outdoor cat that's what the Humane Society will try to give them to minimize problems.

There is no physical building where the Humane Scoiety is located and the cat shelter they used to have was closed down three years ago. "It (the shelter) pretty much became a dumping ground for cats and they were putting around 300 cats a month down," says Lieberman.

Not Your Typical Pet

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