Editorial: Start the New Year by adopting a pet from a shelter | Editorials
The story of Ellie the three-legged dog should serve as an inspiration for people to start a new year with a new family member, cat or dog from one of the many shelters in the area.
Washington County Humane Society program director Halee Robinson said Ellie was a normal dog who led a normal life until she was attacked by another dog and was so badly injured that ‘she lost a front paw.
“During her recovery, Ellie not only regained her mobility, but also her confidence in humans and other dogs,” said Robinson. But she still needed a home, and society set about finding one for her.
After a story about Ellie published in our partner newspaper, the Johnson City Press, the company received an overwhelming response with calls and emails from people wanting to welcome or adopt the dog. Among them was the Miller family of Washington County.
“We have done our best to find the most suitable family for Ellie, given her needs,” said Robinson. The Miller family, Sharon and David, met Ellie on Christmas Eve, signed a foster care agreement, and brought her home.
“By the end of the week, they knew they wanted to make him a permanent member of their family,” Robinson said.
“Ellie lives at home with another dog and they are already best friends. She is also spoiled by their granddaughter. Ellie’s owners plan to enroll her in training to be a service dog. Sharon wants to take Ellie to the VA to give some encouragement to disabled and injured veterans. Ellie would make the best “mascot,” Robinson said.
Not everyone should consider owning a cat or a dog.
AmericanHumane.org says you should think about it if you think caring for a pet for 15-18 years doesn’t seem like a lifetime, and you don’t mind sharing your home with a pet that throws , follows kitty litter and vomits hairballs, an animal that doesn’t clean itself up and wants to spend money on pet food, toys, vet care and kitty litter. You should spay and neuter and can’t imagine leaving your devoted pet behind when you move.
According to Research Gate, owning a pet you adopt from a shelter has been shown to have positive effects on humans’ ability to cope with stress, anxiety, depression, and loneliness. Adopting a pet cat or dog can improve your feelings of happiness and overall well-being, and a recent study found that owning a cat can reduce the risk of death from cardiovascular disease and stroke.
The American Heart Association says, “This is an important finding given that stroke is the third leading cause of death in women and the fourth in men. “
If you want to grow your family with a loving pet, some options include PETWORKS Animal Services, 3101 E. Stone Drive, Kingsport, 423-247-1671; The Bridge Home No Kill Animal Shelter, 2061, route 75, Blountville, 423-239-5237; Hawkins County Humane Society, 5180 US 11W, Rogersville, 423-272-6538; Humane Society of Washington County, 2101 W. Walnut St., Johnson City, 423-926-8533; or the Washington-Johnson City County Animal Shelter, 3411 N. Roan St., Johnson City, 423-926-8769.