Reaching out to save a pet can change your life

Posted by Big Rat on Campus on Apr 24, 2016 in Rat News | Subscribe

I am not sure how cities are ranked for suitability in terms of overall quality of life, but Dayton is certainly enhanced by many great institutions in which to be proud.

One of the most outstanding, to my mind, is the Humane Society of Greater Dayton. It has been in existence since 1902, and is the oldest humane animal welfare group in the Miami Valley. According to president and CEO Brian Weltge, the Humane Society became a no-kill facility in 2010. It has a 97 percent save rate and only euthanizes an animal if there is no way to save it.

Each year the organization fights abuse toward animals through its cruelty/neglect department. Its work is not only for dogs and cats, but for all types of farm animals such as horses, goats, and pigs as well as rabbits, monkeys and even pet rats. They do not work with wildlife such as raccoons, squirrels or deer.

The Humane Society of Dayton is a private 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization funded by individuals, corporate sponsorships and foundations. It receives no government funding. The society has humane agents who are law-enforcement officers who are assigned to handle cruelty and neglect situations. Every year they investigate hundreds of cases where animals are in dangerous situations, including hoarding cases.

The Humane Society of Dayton tries to adopt all the animals it can, even if some have to go on a waiting list. There are about 200 cats dispersed at 25 locations, mostly pet stores. The Dayton Mall has a retail store that has a boutique for adopting cats and purchasing related products. There are 110 events a year where there is a one-day adoption festival or event for adopting cats. The 2nd Street Market has another location for adopting cats.

There are 400 to 500 dogs adopted each year and 1,800 cats. The Humane Society contracts with veterinarians for their required services for spay and neutering programs and for injuries and illnesses that occur to the animals. They have special prices for spaying and neutering feral cats, which are then returned to the wild — a long-term program to reduce the feral cat population. They also have barn cats available from rural areas for barns overrun by mice. These cats are not suited for being house pets, but they do well outside.

Some 550 volunteers perform all types of services, from walking dogs to making pet treats. Pet owners are animal lovers. The Humane Society transforms animals’ lives, which in turn transforms people’s lives. Weltge said it has been shown that owning a pet can increase a person’s life span and improve one’s quality of life. Children raised with pets develop a stronger immune system.

He also said rehabilitating an animal is the process of giving these animals a second chance. When one adopts a rescued animal, they are acquiring a pet that will become their companion — and everyone who has owned a pet understands the loving bond that forms between pet and owner. Rescuing a pet is one of the most rewarding experiences an animal lover can have.

The Humane Society of Greater Dayton is one of the great assets providing services to pet lovers interested in giving abused animals a second chance. Do yourself — and an animal — a favor, and pay a visit.

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