RED WING — River Bluff Humane Society see an increases in adoptions around the holiday season.
Shelter manager Cassie Conroy is excited by this, always wanting to find a forever home for the animals . But at River Bluff, don't expect to adopt a pet for a gift.
"Animals are not gifts," Conroy said. "You might think it’s a good idea to get your mom a cat because she’s been talking about it, but that person should really pick it out.”
It's important to understand the responsibility that comes with adopting an animal, Conroy says.
Conroy recommends considering these questions before adopting a pet:
- Why do you want a pet?
- How are your finances? Can you afford veterinarian care, food and supplies?
- Do you live in an apartment or home? Do you have any living restrictions?
- Are you ready for possible accidents in your home as a result of a new animal?
- How busy are you? Do you have time to commit to an animal while balancing a normal day?
At River Bluff, Conroy said staff try to match the pet with the person or people. Having a skittish dog around a playful family might not be the best situation for that animal. Nor is having a cat that requires a significant amount of attention for a family that is busy.
All of the personalities in a home need to meet animals at the shelter prior to adoption. This includes family members and other animals as well.
For people that are renting, River Bluff will call their landlords to make sure renters are able to have a pet because sometimes there are strict breed, weight and other restrictions. Conroy said they've gotten many compliments from landlords for that policy.
Conroy said they had 36 adoptions last month and 21 adoptions this month, calling it fairly steady for being around the holidays.
One of the problems with holiday adoptions is it can be a rush decision, followed by adapting the animal to an abnormal situation. Conroy said during the holidays people are at home more than they usually are. Establishing a consistent routine for a newly adopted animal is crucial and needs to be maintained for months on end.
Doing something as small as feeding the animal at a consistent time every day is a good start, Conroy said.
River Bluff Humane Society is open 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tuesday-Sunday, with no adoptions available after 3:30 p.m. The shelter is located at 1213 Brick Ave.