Pets are an integral part of our lives, at least for the 57% of the populace that have them. When we stop and look at how they enrich our lives, it is no surprise that so many people claim creatures with fur, feathers and scales as family members.

Our ultimate goal is to place cats and dogs in their furever home with a family that loves them, so this is a topic dear to our hearts. We advocate for responsible pet ownership, where the law is abided and both cats and dogs are spayed and neutered and receive regular veterinary care and are up-to-date on their rabies, if not all their vaccines. That can sound like a lot of pressure to some people, so do the benefits outweigh the costs of responsibility?

We think so. Animals that are well-cared for live longer and healthier lives, for one. They also have more comfortable and enjoyable lives. Often, a cat or dog expresses discomfort by seeming moody or snippish. These so-called “mean” or “bad” pets may actually just be telling you, “hey, I’m stressed out!” or “I don’t feel good!”. The more you understand how your animal is communicating to you, the more likely you will know how to address problems when they do come up, and that in itself reduces the stress involved with pet ownership.

But let’s face it, the love pets give make the sacrifices worth it. They are loyal companions that give pure, unadulterated love. It’s no surprise that studies show many people turn to them as emotional support animals to help manage anxiety and depression; what better companion than the one that will never judge you? (Except for when you’re late with dinner, THEN you are officially judged!) 

Having the companionship of a pet has proven health benefits for the young and old, as studies show that owning a pet lowers the risk of suffering a fatal heart attack or stroke, people with pets live longer after surviving a heart attack, and pets help their owners recover through the process of grief faster than someone without a pet. 

Really, it is no wonder they are like members of our family! As such, it is important we continue to give them the best care we possibly can. The staff and volunteers at the SPCA are always willing to help with advice and guidance with any pet-related questions and problems. We would rather help solve those “family disputes” that come up with pets than see these animals eventually surrendered for problem behaviors.