Article by Kaitlin Lertora
Photo Courtesy of Dancing Paws Pet Care
Adopting an animal can be a rewarding experience—giving an animal a home is one of the greatest gifts a person can give. It comes with responsibility, but it also teaches college students valuable lessons in further managing their time.
Here in Roanoke, there are several places to adopt. The SPCA (Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals) is one of the best places to look for an animal. They have kittens, cats, puppies and older dogs. The fees vary based on the age of the animal, but all the money goes towards overhead costs. There are also kits available for purchase which include everything necessary for taking care of a cat or a dog.
Another way to adopt is through a shelter called Angels of Assisi in downtown Roanoke. They normally have puppies and dogs in the shop, but many of their kittens and cats are distributed to local Petco and Petsmart stores. There is no cost to adopt, which is music to a college student’s ears –but is a large responsibility. The only tricky part is getting approved for adoption. After filling out a somewhat lengthy form, the person in charge of the adoptions is supposed to call the person’s landlord and make sure it’s okay to house an animal where they live –to ensure the animal is in a safe/legal environment. Normally, this could take up to several days to get approved.
I got lucky and was approved immediately because I had driven all around Roanoke in search of a cat due to miscommunication between Petco and Angels of Assisi. I went to the Petco in the Towers Shopping Center and adopted the only cat there. His name, at the time, was Blue Jay and I promptly changed it to Reggie. He’s a sweet, 4-year-old orange and white cat with the personality of a dog. He’s low maintenance and is already trained to go in his litter box. He came microchipped, and neutered with all of his shots. Angels of Assisi gave me a huge bag of grain-free cat food free of charge to show their thanks.
Angels of Assisi and the SPCA are admired by many because they find homes for rescued cats and dogs who were likely going to be put into a kill shelter otherwise. They are always looking for volunteers, which interests me because I’m an avid animal lover. Simply putting in a few hours a week will help them out tremendously. It’s also a great stress reliever from a hectic school schedule. I’m lucky to have found such generous people who run two of the most successful adoption programs.