October is Adopt a Shelter Pet Month, and the Burlington County commissioners are encouraging residents to consider adopting or fostering a dog or cat from the County Animal Shelter.
“The Burlington County Animal Shelter staff and volunteers do a great job caring for the dogs, cats and other animals at the shelter, but what these pets need most is a forever home of their own,” said Burlington County Commissioner Felicia Hopson, the board’s liaison to the shelter. “There are few things better than the joy of coming home to a loyal companion, and having a loving pet around is also good for physical and mental health.”
Studies have demonstrated that owning and caring for a pet can yield several health benefits, including decreased blood pressure, cholesterol levels and triglyceride levels. Pets have also been proven to reduce loneliness, boost mood and provide increased opportunities for exercise and outdoor activities.
Adopting from the shelter is a significant money saver.
All animals adopted from the shelter are spayed or neutered and are brought up to date with their vaccinations. This can save most families thousands of dollars in veterinary expenses.
Burlington County seniors, veterans and active-duty military members and their families are exempt from the shelter’s adoption fees under the Pets for Vets and Pets for Seniors programs.
The fee is typically $75 for adult dogs and $45 for adult cats.
“Responsible pet ownership is a commitment, but you won’t find a more affordable option than adopting from the shelter,” Hopson said. “And the love and loyalty you’ll receive back from your pet is worth the expense.”
More than 840 cats and 345 dogs have been adopted from the shelter this year, and over 200 animals from the shelter have also been placed with rescue groups.
Among the pets currently available at the shelter are:
- Maci, a six-year-old pit bull mix who has remained at the shelter since being brought in as a stray last year. She has made tremendous progress learning commands and manners.
- Hurky, a seven-year-old bully mix who was surrendered to the shelter last year. He’s looking for an owner who enjoys hugs and kisses and cuddling on the couch.
- Oliver, a shepherd/lab mix who was surrendered to the shelter. He enjoys belly rubs and lounging in the sun.
- Tink, an eight-year-old cat who was surrendered by a family that was moving. Shelter staff say she loves to put on a show to attract affection.
“These are just a few of the dogs and cats that are looking for a new home,” said Hopson. “For anyone thinking about a new pet, please visit the shelter. Your next best friend may be waiting to meet you.”
The Burlington County Animal Shelter is located at 35 Academy Drive in Westampton and is open for visits and tours on Mondays, Tuesdays, Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays from noon to 4 p.m. and Thursdays from noon to 7 p.m. It is closed for walk-in visits on Wednesdays. Visitors are encouraged to call (609) 265-5073 to schedule an appointment.
Available dogs and cats can also be viewed online at https://www.co.burlington.nj.us/1446/Available-for-Adoption