Bring a pet into your home with the Nebraska Humane Society

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By Sarah Meedel

Dogs, cats, bunnies and gerbils, oh my!

If one wants to obtain these creatures, the Humane Society might be a good place to start.

Pam Wiese, the public relations director for the Nebraska Humane Society, says, “We have anything anybody brings us.”

Therefore any domesticated animals (excluding birds) they receive may be sold to the public. The Humane Society is generally known for housing cats and dogs, but they do offer “pocket pets.”

Pocket pets typically consist of rats, hamsters, guinea pigs, bunnies and the occasional ferret.

One myth about Humane Society animals is that they are all mutts.

This is untrue.

“We get purebreds in a lot of the time,” says Wiese, “we also have a lot of great mutts here too.”

Before adoption takes place a person must fill out a questionnaire to help match them with a pet that would suit their lifestyle.

An adoption counselor will meet with the prospective adopter to discuss bringing a pet home. Many times a meeting between everyone in the household and the animal must occur, “to make sure everyone is comfortable with the animal and the animal is comfortable with everyone else,” says Wiese.

In order to adopt, a person must provide proof of ownership of their living arrangements. If renting, the landlord must be contacted to receive consent for the animal to live on the premises.

If one wants to wants to adopt a pet, the process is typically a great deal cheaper than buying an animal from a pet store.

To purchase an animal from the Humane Society it will cost $95 for a dog or puppy and $75 for a cat or kitten.

Those fees pay for spraying/neutering, first worming, initial vaccinations, heartworm testing, micro-chipping, free behavior and training advice and free consultations for difficult pets. If buying an animal at a pet store the same services would cost between $150 and $225 and that doesn’t include the cost of the animal.

There are other costs a person should expect when acquiring a pet. Pets must be licensed; this costs $15 a year for dogs and $12 for cats.

Basics like food, food and water dishes, vet appointments, a brush, a collar, a leash, pet tags and toys are expenses that should expected.

Some training may be needed, especially with younger animals.

Puppies and kittens are usually not at the shelter long enough to be paper-trained. The older animals will typically be housebroken before being adopted.

For the animals that are mean, hyperactive or have other unwanted characteristics, the shelter tries to correct the problems with obedience classes before allowing it to be adopted. If problems still occur with the pet after adoption, the shelter offers free advice and consultations. Obedience classes are also available at the Humane Society.

Not everyone is ready to have a pet though. It is recommended that people going through drastic changes in their lives not adopt animals.

Pets are a great responsibility and if a person is already experiencing a large amount of stress, he or she may not be ready to have a pet just yet.

When the time comes to add that special pet to your life, why not stop by the Humane Society to see what they have to offer.

Wiese says, “Giving a homeless animal a chance to be loved is a great service to the community, a great service to yourself and it’s a great service to the pets.”

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