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Check out local shelters for pets

October is Adopt a Shelter Dog Month and a perfect time for those considering purchasing or finding a dog for their home to do so.

In fact, the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals suggests people looking for pets consider local dogs at shelters. The Pike Animal Shelter currently has three adoptable dogs listed on the petfinder.com Web site.

Currently, available is Harley, a young male, golden retriever and yellow lab mix, Betty Boop, a young female German Shepherd mix and Milly, a young terrier labrador mix.

Founder’s Society Chair Donna Schubert said the Web site is updated every Friday.

While, it’s important for people to step up to the plate to adopt these pets, it’s even more important for adoptees to understand what responsible pet ownership is.

Pet ownership requires more than agreeing to adopt an animal and taking it to your home, it’s a commitment that will enhance the lives of a family and the animal. Adopting a pet should be looked at as a long-term commitment as some dogs live at least 15 years. Also, consider what type of pet is a good match for your household. For example, a strong and active pet could be too much for a child or older person to handle, while small and delicate pets may not be suitable to play with children.

Pets should have a primary caretaker. Therefore it’s important to establish who will take care of the pet’s needs. It’s easy to lose sight of a pet’s needs while trying to shuffle among grocery shopping, ballet practice, soccer practice and church services.

Being able to financially support a pet is also something to consider. The cost of having a pet goes far beyond the purchase price or adoption fee.

Can you afford the cost of food, pet supplies, veterinarian bills and training?

After considering commitments, both financially and time constraints, if you still want to find a pet, we suggest a shelter dog.There are several organizations that work hard to ensure that stray or unwanted dogs get a happy, healthy home they deserve.

Why not help them help you?