By Mary Nielsen
Floridians love animals! In a 2017 survey, Tampa was found to be the third most pet-friendly city in America. Orlando, St. Petersburg, Miami and Jacksonville also had respectful ranks on this list. In March of 2018, Governor Rick Scott signed a law that would make animal cruelty a more serious offense. Florida is one of only eleven states where it is legal to break and enter an automobile for the purpose of saving a distressed animal. (You know how hot it can get in Florida. Do not leave an animal in a car. Ever.)
An analysis of Florida pet shelters shows that their conditions are steadily improving, with 73% of animals having a live outcome, an 11% improvement from 2013. And you can help that number improve even more. What can you do? You can be one of those live outcomes by adopting a dog or cat from an animal shelter. If that seems a little questionable, keep reading!
Why a Cat or Dog Could be in a Shelter
Usually, dogs and cats are in shelters because of human issues rather than their own doing. Often, the last guardian was unable to care for the animal due to illness, change in lifestyle or fiscal reasons. The previous guardian may have passed on without establishing who would have custody of their pet. (A very sad event for all involved.) Every year, unspayed females give birth to litters of stray kittens and puppies. The Everglades is no place for an animal bred to be a pet. An animal shelter provides an animal food, safety, and medical care. However, love can only be found in a family.
Your New Best Friend
An animal shelter works hard at getting just the right people and animals together. This isn't something done on a whim. The counselors at a shelter know adoption for the long haul. They know all the animals individually and what kind of pet parent would be best. You may be asked a lot of questions about yourself at a shelter. The people asking these questions want to find not only the pet that's right for you but exactly the right person for each pet.
The Long Haul
A pet is a friend forever. Adopting a pet is a rewarding experience for both of you. You will have a loyal friend who adores you. In turn, the pet will have food, safety, and love. Whether you like cats or dogs, there's sure to be an animal perfect for you.
A Brand New Life
Shelter pets have suffered, but they can still love. Please adopt a dog or cat who needs one. Please spay or neuter your pet if the shelter has not already. As cute as kittens and puppies are, there just aren't enough homes for all of them. Please avoid the puppy and kitten mills that care more about making money than the safety of innocent animals.