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Have you noticed that you are seeing more dogs showing up in television commercials for products that really have nothing to do with dogs? Have you seen the magazine ads for furniture, appliances, cars, and home decorating items that include dogs in the layout?

And what about all the dog accessories and products promoted in special dog catalogs? Yes, our canine companions are more visible than ever, and it seems that the world is figuring out that dogs really are man’s best friends.

To acknowledge this special bond, the ASPCA has named October as “Adopt-a-Shelter-Dog Month”. Yes, every month is adopt-a-shelter-dog month, but hopefully the designation will bring awareness to all the wonderful dogs waiting in shelters to find forever homes.

October is a great month to adopt a new member into your home. The weather is still nice enough to be outdoors with your pet, you can take walks and practice leash training, and it’s easy to get acquainted with the backyard area of your home and all the sniffs and smells in the neighborhood.

Meet the Shelter Crew

Currently the Beatrice Animal Shelter is at “full house” status. Dogs of every size, color, temperament, breed, and age are all available and waiting to meet you. According to shelter manager, Carlee Fiddess, there are big dogs, small dogs, puppies, senior dogs, and an array of breeds and sizes.

Adoption counselors at the shelter will be happy to meet with you to discuss your current lifestyle, number of pets currently in your home, ages of any children, special restrictions or needs you or family members have, and what your expectations are with a new pet in the home.

Perhaps young “Star” would be a good match for your situation. The nine-month-old tan American Bulldog mix female is full of energy and very strong. She is already 90 pounds and will need to be in a home that is prepared to care for a large, loving girl.

On a smaller scale, there is “Cooper”, a white and tan Jack Russell Terrier. Cooper is two or three years old and has a bit of a birth defect that affects his gait when walking. He doesn’t let it slow him down, and he would love to meet you, get acquainted, and go for a walk.

Handsome “Sparky” came into the shelter as a stray and was never claimed. The German Shorthair Pointer has the heart of a puppy even though he is probably close to nine or 10 years old. Unfortunately, Sparky has been diagnosed with heartworm disease and will need to begin treatment.

He needs to find a foster placement where he can get the rest and quiet required for dogs going through the heartworm treatment process. When Sparky is healthy, the foster would have first option to adopt him if they so desire.

Dynamic Duo

The shelter is currently hosting a lovely pair of medium-size canine pals that came into the facility together as strays. “Mark Anthony” and “Cleopatra” are best friends and would love to be adopted together although it is not required.

Mark Anthony is a handsome two-year-old Boxer mix who is a happy, laid-back guy. He plays well with Cleopatra, a two-year-old Pitbull mix who is energetic but polite. She seems to do well with other dogs and children. Mark and Cleo would gladly take time from their busy play schedule to meet and greet you at the shelter.

There are, of course, many other dogs waiting for homes. All animals in the adoption program have been spayed or neutered, vaccinated, microchipped, and checked over by a veterinarian.

If you have been considering adopting a canine companion, this just might be the perfect time. But if you are unable to adopt a dog at this time, there are other ways to support their cause.

Consider volunteering at our local shelter or collecting supplies for shelter operations or making a donation to honor those who work every day to care for these wonderful lost and homeless creatures. And please, go out and promote shelter adoptions to neighbors, family, and friends.

As dog-lover Caroline Knapp put it, “Before you get a dog, you can’t quite imagine what living with one might be like; afterward, you can’t imagine living any other way.”

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This column was written by Bette Anne Thaut, board member of the Beatrice Humane Society.

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