In the adoption screening room at the Connecticut Humane Society’s Newington location, a tiny orange furball turned on the charm for Carrie Jackson and her two daughters.
“We have a house full of animals already but we love to add more to our house,” said Jackson, of Wallingford, as she watched her daughters play with the energetic long-haired kitten. “Because they are loving pets that need homes.”
But the little orange puffball isn’t the only little guy at this shelter looking for a forever home.
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The Connecticut Humane Society takes in more than 5,000 pets a year between its three locations — including kittens and cats, puppies and dogs, gerbils, hamsters, even a pig here and there.
With each one animal adopted, two lives are saved.
“They’re saving the life of the pet they bring home into their family, and they’re saving the life of another pet that’s waiting to get into the shelter,” said Alicia Wright, public relations director for the organization.
Summer is a crowded time at the shelter, with spring litters just reaching an adoptable age, and a seemingly endless line of animals surrendered, abandoned or transferred from local animal shelters. The hope is for every animal to find a loving, permanent home.
By the time a pet is ready to be adopted from Connecticut Humane Society, it’s already had all necessary veterinary work, including vaccinations, and has been spayed and neutered. Things like dental work, behavioral evaluation and training if needed, microchipping, starter food, collars and leashes and other perks are all covered in the adoption fee. On the open market, those costs could easily exceed $700 on average, Wright said, making an adoption fee a bargain in comparison.
“Those are things that you would have to pay for at the veterinarian on your own if you adopted a pet from the streets or if you decided to go to a breeder or something like that,” Wright explained.
Families ready to make the commitment need to fill out necessary paperwork and meet with an adoption counselor to ensure the best pet choice for their family and household. People who already own dogs might be asked to bring in their existing pet to meet the prospective adoptee under supervision to make sure it’s a good match.
Some adoptions can happen on the same day, like it did during Carrie Jackson’s trip to the shelter.
“This is the one, yes,” she said as she watched the orange kitten scamper around. “I mean, they’re all ‘the one,’ but this is the one going home with us today.”
With the decision made, only one question remained. What to name him?
Daughters Hannah and Hope furrowed their brows, deep in thought.
“Umm … Donut or Munchkin or something like that!” they said.