Shelter animals would love to be your friend

Published 10:47 pm Thursday, January 20, 2011

Last week my search to fill our weekly Hometown Hero slot led me to the Selma-Dallas County Animal Shelter. What I found there was both encouraging and alarming.

While checking out some of the new puppies and kittens up for adoption, I was very impressed with the condition of the animals, the facilities and the care the critters are given.

Volunteers and workers are constantly playing with the animals to make sure they feel loved for at least a little while.

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Sadly, I was alarmed at the volume of unwanted animals. There are a number of puppies, kittens and grown cats and dogs that were desperate for loving homes. Because Selma does not have a no-kill shelter, the animals that are not adopted will never know what it’s like to be “the family dog” or the cat that always seems to be in the easy chair or on the coffee table. It’s a very sad situation.

In my lifetime I have owned a number of different animals from goldfish to billy goats. I got a great deal of joy out of each one and I would like to think we gave them a pretty good life.

I know that my most recent pet, a portly orange tabby named Cooper, had it pretty good because his vet wrote “overweight” in all caps on his chart during his most recent checkup. Hey, a little extra fish and chicken never hurts, I just wish he hadn’t returned the favor with chipmunks cleverly hidden in the garage.

Back on track, the lessons I learned from the dogs, cats and other pets I’ve had is you get just as much as you give.

Tom T. Hall wrote in one of his songs “old dogs care about you even when you make mistakes.”

That is a pretty good summary of why people should welcome a pet into their homes. Your dog or cat will never turn its back on you and will be there when you need them most.

They might even help you lead a longer life. Medical research has proven spending time with your pets and petting animals can decrease blood pressure.

That makes the friendship you gain from pet ownership even better.

If you are in the market for a new addition to your family stop by the humane society. They have plenty of outgoing anumals that would love to go home with you.