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Proper Preparedness Can Help Reduce The Number of Homeless Pets

Many people got pets during the pandemic, but with a return to the office, we’ve begun to see a surge in pet surrenders. If you’re a first-time pet owner or a newcomer unsure about caring for pets or any by-laws around pets, the Winnipeg Humane Society has everything you need to know to ensure all pets find their forever homes.

Dephne Hee is the Adoption Manager at the humane society; she and the team are there to walk you through the adoption process and can answer any questions you may have. One of prospective owners’ first questions is what pet will fit their lifestyle.

“That’s the first step when owning a pet,” says Hee, “What you do when you come to our shelter and talk to our counsellor, and we’ll usually ask you where you live, what is your life situation right now. Owning a pet really depends on your lifestyle. If you live in a small apartment, you may want a quiet animal which is easy to take care of. This could be a hamster, rabbit, or adult cat. If you’re a very active person, you like running or jogging, and hiking during the wintertime, a young dog, would be really good.”

Whatever your lifestyle, a pet is a significant responsibility and will completely change your life. The shelter’s job is to walk you through the adoption process and what you will have to prepare yourself for.

“Even if you live in an apartment, it doesn’t mean you can’t have a dog. But it does depend on the type of dog, then. If you want a husky, it’s not the best choice because they like to howl all day. If you have a senior dog or a smaller dog like a chihuahua. But it really depends on your situation.”

Although the shelter has a lot of information, it is important to seek further details on what type of pet you want and what is needed to keep them healthy and happy. The next steps will be to determine if adoption or a breeder is the right choice and ensure your place is ‘pet-proof.’ Finding a breeder is not recommended for first-time owners. Finding a reputable and ethical breeder can take tremendous effort and time. There are often long waitlists, and depending on the breed of animal you’re looking for, see the animal grow up and learn about them, but it can be costly. However, you can find exactly what you’re looking for with in-depth health and family history. Adoption gives a new chance at life for an animal. You can find both young and senior animals, and by visiting your local shelter or humane society, you can find an animal whose personality may click with you. As a shelter, the Winnipeg Humane Society always looks to provide animals with homes.

“There are just so many animals needed help. Even though adoption has been going really well since we opened up, the incoming animals can be overwhelming. We can’t even keep up with the surrendering. If you adopt from a shelter, you not only get financial support, adoption support, and post-adoption support you help open up a space for the next animal. And you helped an animal previously homeless now have a safe home and enjoy a loving and very comfortable long life.”

If someone is looking for a specific breed of animal, a waitlist is available at the humane society. If you provide them with your information, they will call you when that particular breed or animal is surrendered to the shelter.

There are things that you’ll have to be aware of, planning on who will look after it if you’re away for a while, taking daily steps to keep your pet emotionally and physically healthy through exercise and grooming, or looking into pet insurance in case of any vet emergencies, are all steps to ensure fewer pets end up in shelters. Your life will change when you get a pet, sometimes, there will be challenges, but their companionship will be life-changing.

– Ryan Funk, U Multicultural

Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of U Multicultural.

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