Shelters are home for dogs in search of a family

Photo courtesy: Alyce Alexander

October is national Adopt a Shelter Dog Month. Many animal shelters are home to hundreds of dogs waiting to find a proper family.

Tallahassee has four animal shelters across the city that assist individuals in finding their furry friend. These shelters take immense pride in pairing their dogs with an owner who will love and support them in the best way.

Jaina Alban, dog mom to Buddy, recently adopted her mixed breed from the animal shelter. Alban said she felt overall more comfortable adopting from a shelter rather than buying a puppy.

“I wanted a pet that I could always have around and take care of even though I’m a busy person,” Alban said. “I don’t have time to raise a dog, so I decided it would be best to get an older dog that deserves a better life.”

For those looking to adopt, the process is much easier than people expect. First, you can go online and browse through the kennel seeing all 118 available dogs. Once you find the dog of your choice, you will fill out a questionnaire and make an appointment to come in.

Michael St. John, assistant director for Tallahassee Animal Services, said when adopting a dog, it’s best to look more at its temperament than appearance.

“We like to focus on lifestyles so if you have a mostly sedentary routine, we’ll direct you in the direction of the calm dogs that will cuddle with you while you watch tv,” St. John said. “We also look at things like pet history to see how well your current pet matches with the breed of the dog.”

Animal shelters collect dogs by surrender and stray. There are a variety of reasons why owners must surrender their dog ranging from health issues to expenses. Although these shelters would love to accept each dog that comes in, overpopulation is a big problem.

Kayla McNarma, owner of three shelter adopted dogs, said she prefers going through the Humane Society instead of breeders. McNarma said the price difference and treatment of the animals is overall better. She believes breeders often overpopulate knowing they do not have the proper accommodations.

“I have a new poodle that was rescued from a breeder who kept multiple dogs in small cages,” McNarma said. “Thirty-two doodles were rescued in total, and I got a full bred for $100 versus a breeder price of over $1,000.”

Adoptions are open to all adults above the age of 18 for those looking to expand their family.