The Mayor’s Alliance for NYC’s animals will host its annual pet adoption event, Adoptapalooza, at Union Square Park this Sunday.
Dr. Elizabeth Berliner, the director of Maddie’s Shelter Medicine Program at the Cornell University College of Veterinary Medicine as well as a consultant and lead veterinarian for the Humane Society Veterinary Medical Association’s Field Services program, which facilitates mobile spay/neuter and preventive medicine clinics in rural areas of the U.S. to communities without access to routine veterinary care, reviews her recommendations for any family considering the adoption of a shelter pet.
“First, large-scale adoption events are great opportunities to meet a wide array of adoptable animals from multiple humane groups in a single afternoon. Available pets have vaccinations and are already altered, putting new owners ahead of the game in achieving preventive care. Additional family-oriented activities and resources on topics such as training, pet ID, and licensing provide potential new pet parents with everything they need to be successful.
“Second, several studies have demonstrated the positive impact pets have on their people – including lowering stress, enabling social connections, and providing companionship. When you adopt a shelter pet, many organizations help with follow up services, including behavioral advice, free vet visits and pet insurance. Adopting a shelter pet can be like joining a whole new community of like-minded pet lovers and advocates.
“Lastly, for some adopters, prepping for the new addition can be helpful. This may include participating in ‘matchmaking’ programs that identify compatible pets and people, taking stock of budgetary and family readiness for a new pet, and gathering resources on training and veterinary care. However, many unsuspecting new pet owners accidentally stumble upon their companion animal soul-mates at such events; eyes meet, and the rest is history. The truth is that many people adopt with no preparation or forethought – and for the vast majority of them, it all works out because they make a conscious decision to adapt to whatever needs their new pet might have.
“In the last two years, New York City has saved 90 percent of homeless animals in their care through the work of the Mayor’s Alliance. Achieving this goal deserves tremendous celebration – and requires continued passion for adopting pets from shelters!”