NATIONAL ADOPT A SHELTER PET DAY REMINDS US THERE ARE SO MANY CATS AND DOGS IN NEED OF FOREVER HOMES!

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(Toms River)Every year, over 6.5 million companion animals end up in shelters across the United States. Most of these pets are sweet and loving cats and dogs hopeful for a second chance at a forever home. That is why every April 30, the Ocean County Animal Facilities (OCAF) recognizes National Adopt a Shelter Pet Day to keep raising awareness for the many pets that are waiting to for adoption.

“It’s a day we like to remind residents who are serious about obtaining a new pet should consider adopting from the Northern Ocean County Animal Facility in Jackson or our Southern Ocean County Animal Facility located in Manahawkin,” said Gary Quinn, Ocean County Commissioner, Liaison to the Ocean County Board of Health.  “Now that spring is upon us there will be a new wave of beautiful kittens coming in for the next several months all in need of permanent loving homes.”

“With the abundance and variety of homeless cats and dogs available to choose from there is no reason to look elsewhere,” added Daniel Regenye, Ocean County Health Department (OCHD) Public Health Coordinator/Health Officer. “All our cats and dogs available for adoption are spayed/neutered, microchipped and receive age-appropriate vaccines.”

The OCHD also uses the opportunity to spread the message regarding the importance of adopting responsibly.

An animal’s care is a lifelong commitment and should never be an impulse decision.  Do your homework and make sure you find the pet that fits your lifestyle. The following is a list of suggestions for preparing your home when adopting a new cat or dog.

  • Put a cozy bed for your pet in every room. Pets are much more likely to keep off furniture if they have attractive alternatives.
  • If you have a cat, try putting double-sided sticky tape or upside-down carpet runners on furniture to discourage her from scratching.
  • Avoid vertical blinds, pooling drapery, ornate tassels and long cords that can become strangulation hazards.
  • If you have cats, be sure to install high-quality metal screens on all windows.
  • It may be a good idea to roll up and store decorative rugs until your new dog is fully house-trained.
  • Provide your new cat with a variety of scratching posts and perches.
  • Use dog crates and gates to confine your new dog when home alone until his house manners earn him unsupervised freedom.
  • Provide plenty of safe things for your dog to chew. If he has attractive toys and bones of his own, he’ll be much less likely to gnaw on your things!
  • Check to make sure that plants in and around your home are not poisonous to pets.

“Nothing is more rewarding than bringing a shelter pet into your family,” explained Brian Lippai, OCHD Public Information Coordinator. “Shelter dogs and cats make great family pets and we have so many types and breeds to choose from. We see just about every type of adorable mix and full breed dogs to the sweet tabbies and some of the most beautiful exotic cats. They all have so much unconditional love to offer.”

**ALL CATS AND DOGS SHOULD BE VACCINATED AGAINST RABIES**

Ocean County pet owners can have their pet receive a free rabies vaccine at one of the two Ocean County Animal Facilities. Rabies vaccinations are by appointment only. Clinics take place at the Northern Ocean County Animal Facilities on the first and third Wednesday of each month. Residents can schedule an appointment by calling 732-657-8086.

The Southern Ocean County Animal Facility clinics take place on the second and fourth Wednesday of each month. Pet owners can call 609-978-0127 to make an appointment.

The Northern Ocean County Animal Facility is located at 615 Freemont Avenue in Jackson. The Southern Ocean County Animal Facility is at 360 Haywood Road in Manahawkin. For additional information regarding the Ocean County Animal Facilities please visit the Ocean County Health Department website at www.ochd.org or follow or like us on Facebook.