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Welcome a New Member Into Your Family!


This article is presented by Auntie Ruth's Animal Care & Wellness Centers

Millions of pets in search of good homes fill shelters across our country. Old and young, abandonment doesn't discriminate. Now is the time to help save some lives, though. All it takes is a gentle hand and a little patience. The sun is shining outside and you can help bring it into the heart of an animal in need. Here's how...

Summer is here and there is no better time than now to bring a new animal friend into your life. So many truly wonderful cats and dogs can be found through our local rescue groups just waiting for you to fall in love with them. These aren't bad animals; they are the ones who have been forgotten and neglected. Often times young puppies end up in shelters as the result of backyard breeding or "oops" litters, which can easily be avoided by spaying and neutering. Time and again we see middle aged and older dogs who have been abandoned or surrendered by their families for various reasons including health, decreased activity levels, or incontinence issues. Homeless kitties fill shelters and foster homes across the state due to a lack of sterilization and a high frequency of abandonment as well. These are good pets who deserve a second (sometimes a third or fourth) chance at life.

When you weigh the pros and cons of adopting a new pet into your family it seems the pros will almost always win. Animals provide lifelong companionship to their human moms and dads. So many times all these animals want is a warm bed to sleep in and a full tummy, once you've provided that they will give you nothing back but their unconditional love - which usually comes in the form of sloppy kisses and a wagging tail.

One of the best reasons to adopt a pet is for your children. Studies have shown that exposure to animals beginning at a young age can be extremely beneficial to children's mental health. Pets teach children about responsibility and empathy, help to reduce stress, and encourage learning. They provide a safe, trusting friend for kids to talk to and share their feelings with. This can be especially helpful to a child with anxiety or social disorders as it creates the opportunity to practice communication skills without the fear of judgment. Another invaluable benefit of having your children spend time with animals is that they are encouraged to practice and learn nurturing skills. Depending on the age of your child you can assign them tasks ranging anywhere from changing the litter box, walking the dog, filling the water dish, or simply handing out treats for good behavior. Children who are given the chance to care for an animal from a young age gain experience that they will carry with them into adulthood.

Companion animals are not only a fantastic resource for children to develop their social and mental skills; they are good for adults too! Just petting an animal can reduce stress and lower blood pressure. They can also help keep people active through walks, playtime, and other daily activities. Many of these activities can be done by one family member, but they also provide an opportunity for the whole family to get involved which can strengthen the family bond by giving everyone the chance to help out. Taking the dog out for a nightly walk around the neighborhood can open the door for conversation with your kids and also encourages healthy habits rather than just sitting in front of the television.

If you're still on the fence and not quite sure if your family is ready to commit to adopting a new pet there is always the option of fostering. Many of our local rescue groups work as shelter-less entities; which mean that they are always in need of good homes to care for their animals until they are able to find a forever home. Fostering allows you to see how well your family does with a dog or cat while also providing a wonderful service to our community. A foster pet may stay in your home anywhere from days to months, depending on your level of commitment and how quickly they are able to find a home. Rescue groups will work with you to find an animal that fits well into your family dynamic. They provide payment for nearly all the care the pet requires, you are just there to give them a safe, loving environment to thrive in. Below you can find information on several local rescues and how to contact them about both fostering and adoption options.

Whether you are leaning towards adoption or fostering, taking an animal into your home is a lifelong commitment and something that should be carefully considered. Once you have decided that it is right for you the next step is to find the type of pet that suits your family best. When you begin your search for the perfect pet you will see how many sweet souls out there need a helping hand. Here is a list of websites and local non-profit groups with pets just waiting to meet you!

Petfinder - Petfinder is a wonderful resource for finding lots of local animals who are looking for homes. Petfinder includes listings from rescue groups all across the country but can be narrowed down to a local search. You can look for animals based on their breed, age, and size.

MN Humane Society - The MN Humane Society describes themselves as "a statewide education, advocacy, and rescue organization dedicated to protecting the lives and interests of Minnesota's animals." They are the oldest humane society in MN; founded in 1869! This wonderful group works tirelessly to get animals healthy and happy so they may find forever homes.

Animal Ark - As Minnesota's largest no kill animal welfare organization, Animal Ark strives to do as much as they can for all animals and understands that shelter pets are "missing the most important thing in their lives...a home and family of their own." To learn about the animals they help to save as well as all the other community work they do go to their website.

Blue Sky Rescue - Blue skies and green pastures are what every animal deserves and that's what Blue Sky Rescue strives to deliver. Started by one woman and with the help of foster homes, vet clinics, and countless volunteers they have been able to place many loving dogs into great homes just like yours. To learn more about Blue Sky check out their website.

Save-A-Bull Rescue - Save-A-Bull Rescue is a volunteer-based non-profit organization dedicated to the rescue, rehabilitation, and re-homing of American Pit Bull Terriers and other Bull breeds. Their mission is to change the poor public image that has been unjustly thrust upon these dogs over the years. To find a special bully breed dog for your home look on their website.

Pet Haven Inc of MN - Pet Haven is a local group that has been around since 1952. They are run by volunteers who work very hard both to find good homes for cats and dogs and also to advocate on behalf of those animals. The group is filled with warm-hearted people who do everything they can to place good animals in good homes.

A Rotta Love Plus - This is another great group that works not only to rescue and re-home animals but also to educate the public on things such as dog safety and responsible ownership. A Rotta Love helps all breeds of dog but focuses their efforts primarily on rottweilers and bully breeds to reinforce the fact that these are good dogs who do not deserve the stigma that has been placed on their breeds.

Other great groups to look for:
Underdog Rescue
Gemini Rottweiler and Pitbull Rescue, Inc.
Retrieve A Golden of Minnesota, Inc.
Carver-Scott Humane Society
Happy Hound Rescue
Minnesota's Unwanted Siberian Husky Rescue
Minnesota Wisconsin Collie Rescue
Red Lake Rosie's Rescue

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New FeatureRelated Articles: Adoption in the Minneapolis - St. Paul Area, The Benefits Of Growing Up With Pets,

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