“Every animal that comes into our shelter will remain here until they find their forever home,” said Katie Robinson, an animal care staff member at the Wood County Humane Society.
Robinson has been employed at the shelter for the past year and a half where she works with companion animals almost every day.
“We mainly see people coming in with their families to look for companion animals or companion animals for elderly family members,” Robinson said.
Companion animals are animals brought to families either from shelters or from a breeder as a pet. The animals that are most commonly worked with at the humane society are dogs and cats.
“The Wood County Humane Society is a managed admission shelter, which means that it is a shelter that does everything it can to have every animal that comes in go back out the doors with a loving family. I would say that the animals that are adopted from us are for companion animals,” said Heath Diehl, board president of WCHS and BGSU professor.
In 2018, the WCHS had an intake of 313 dogs and 750 cats, with a total of 986 lives saved. Of these saved animals, 307 dogs and 637 cats were adopted into homes as new companion animals. The rest of the animals that were not adopted were either transferred to another place, returned to the owner, died in care or had to be euthanized due to poor health or behavior.
“The only reason they would be euthanized would be for serious medical situations where it is more humane for the animal to be put to sleep than for us to let it go on with life or for serious behavior issues as in the dog has attacked multiple people making it unsafe for a home or other animals,” Robinson explained.
This is just a sample of what is happening in animal shelters across the U.S.
“Every year approximately 3.2 million animals that have entered a humane society are adopted into loving homes where these new pets have the opportunity for a healthy happy life,” according to ASPCA’s website.
Amber Myers, the customer engagement leader at Petsmart, said, “I am beginning to see a rise in the number of pets that come in that were adopted from a humane society.”
As the customer engagement leader, she works on a personal level with the pets and their owners and sees the loving emotional connections with these animals.
“The huge rise in the humane societies adoptions I feel is due to the new campaigns that are occurring such as #adoptdontshop and #opttoadopt. This is giving the option for animals that need to be adopted the opportunity to find a home rather than those that are bought at a breeder, which may not always be a bad thing,” Myers said.
According to the Animal Welfare Institute, “Often companion animals are our best friends, confidants, and help make the family complete. … Pets not only provide love and affection, they may even help keep us well.”
Often times animals are looked on for much more than a human best friend. While these companion animals rely on their owner/owners for protection, food and various other living conditions, they help humans out in return.
“Recent studies have linked pet ownership to lower blood pressure, reduced stress, less incidence of heart disease, and lower health care costs. In short, companion animals make us happier and healthier,” according to the Animal Welfare Institute.
Humane societies like the one in Wood County, a managed admission shelter, give every opportunity for animals to find their forever home and for families to experience the benefits of owning a companion animal.