Blaine Callahan, The Bulletin | Mon, May 9, 2022, 4:30 AM

Looking to adopt a furry friend? Why not during National Pet Month?

“Connecticut has a huge network of shelters for rescues,” said Susan Wollschlager, Marketing and Communications Manager for the Connecticut Humane Society.

The Connecticut Humane Society is one of the oldest and most comprehensive animal welfare organizations in the state. Their mission statement is to help rescue and home pets, as well as provide services for those looking to adopt.

Wollschlager said 1,615 pets were adopted in 2021.

“The pets here come from a variety of different places,” she said. “Owners who can’t keep them anymore, whether they’re moving or have allergies or someone had passed away. They’re also found as strays, like cats and rabbits. Dogs usually come from animal control. We handle their medical care, then put them up for adoption once they’re ready.”

One of the biggest boons the organization provides for people looking to adopt are counseling services. When you’re dealing with rescue animals or pets in need, it’s important to make sure they’ll be a good fit for their new family.

“We meet with the potential adopter and learn about them,” said Wollschlager. “Do they want a dog for hiking and adventuring, or a more relaxed pet who will snuggle up on the couch with them?”

Humane society workers also go into detail about the pet’s medical history and what the pet might need for treatment, or if a pet is in need of training. They check to see if the adopter has other pets already and on their own situation at home.

“We talk to them about the animal’s personality, foods they prefer, walks they’ll need, etc. We counsel on how to introduce a new pet to their other pets as well.”

For a while, these services had to be moved online due to the pandemic. Counseling sessions were done over video or by phone. Potential adoptions were booked by appointment. Overall, it was challenging, Wollschlager said, not just for taking care of animals in need, but to find the right homes for them, as well.

The Connecticut Humane Society has since been able to move back to its original model.

“Folks can come in and look at the pets, and we can do in-person counseling,” said Wollschlager. “They can come in from noon to 4:30, seven days a week.”

The Connecticut Humane Society even took steps to ensure families in distress due to the pandemic were able to keep their pets. Workers helped provide medical services, whether it was an ear or eye infection to critical surgeries. The organization has a pet food pantry to make sure no animal goes hungry. It all comes from donations and the network of shelters in the state.

“We take monetary donations, litter, carriers, durable toys for our very enthusiastic chewers, soft treats for training dogs, and towels for the medical care,” said Wollschlager. “Our on-staff veterinary team who rely on monetary gifts. We thank everyone who donates and opens up their hearts to pets and animals in need.”

At the end of the day, the Connecticut Humane Society’s main goal is an empty shelter.

“I would definitely encourage people to adopt from a shelter. You’re adopting an animal in need and they don’t have a voice. You can be their voice and give them a great life they deserve.”

You can check out what pets are up for adoption on the Connecticut Humane Society website, or learn more at their Adoption Process page. Wollschlager encourages anyone curious about adopting to stop in to any of the society’s locations in Connecticut and see the pets for themselves.

“When you adopt an animal, you’re helping change their life,” said Wollschlager. “And making room for another homeless pet to come into that shelter.”

This article originally appeared on The Bulletin: Adopting a rescue pet in CT for National Pet Month in May

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