Adopt instead of buying a new pet

Published 7:00 am Wednesday, July 11, 2018

The Pearl River County SPCA is working toward becoming a “no-kill” shelter. Currently, the shelter will take in animals, test their behavior, check their health, and if there is room, spay/neuter them before adding them to the list of adoptable animals. However, whenever they run out of room, or if an animal comes in with an illness that is too expensive to treat, shelter staff often have no choice other than euthanasia.

When I was younger, I used to look at shelter adoption fees and wonder why they were so expensive. After all, if a dog or cat costs more than $100 to adopt, why not just spend a little extra and buy a puppy or kitten of the particular breed you want? What I didn’t recognize then was the amount time, effort and work that goes into getting an animal ready for adoption. 

Once an animal is brought to a shelter, the dog or cat has to be tested to see if their personality is appropriate for adoption. If it is, they are given a medical exam to see if they have any serious illnesses or injuries that need to be addressed. If their medical care doesn’t look like it will be too expensive, the animal is given a place to stay until it is adopted.

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A lot of work goes into testing these animals, and the money it costs to not only spay and neuter them combined with examinations and shelter upkeep can quickly add up. Some bigger shelters have veterinarians on staff, but small ones such as the PRC SPCA have to pay for outside help.

Adoption fees may seem expensive, but the shelter couldn’t afford to operate without covering basic operating expenses. After I realized this, I decided I would only ever adopt from a shelter if I wanted a new pet. Adopting can save countless lives and can bring the PRC SPCA one step closer to becoming a no-kill shelter.