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Adoption first step to caring for animals

There are many reasons to adopt a pet, but National Pet Week isthe prime time, say local animal activists.

“We’re in a crises right now. We’ve got over 40 dogs and puppiesat the league,” said Gayle Ross, co-president of the BrookhavenAnimal Rescue League.

The facility usually houses between 20 to 25 litters of dogs ata given time, but normally there is an increase around this time ofyear, Ross explained.

“Spring is when most animals have a litter, and unwanted litterswind up with us,” Ross said.

The same is true at the Brookhaven City Pound.

National Pet Week, May 7-13, is set aside to remember thoseunwanted animals and encourage residents to get out and adopt.

Several volunteers, such as Glen Watkins and Charles andVirginia Ratliff, have been showering the animals with their love.They, like Ross, have gotten so attached during their visits thatthey have even adopted several of their own.

“If people ever went out there (pound) and saw these animalslocked up in cages, they would never want to go out and buy ananimal anymore,” said Mrs. Ratliff.

The criteria for adopting locally is not difficult, according toRoss.

“They (animals) just need somebody who loves them . . . a homethat will take care of them,” she said.

Ross said there are many reasons to adopt. Statistics have shownthat animals provide a variety of health benefits to their owners,she explained.

“It’s been shown that they help lower blood pressure,” shesaid.

The number one reason for adopting, though, is the companionshipanimals provide to their owners, she added.

“Animals are wonderful companions,” said Ross.

After a certain number of days, the animals not adopted at thepound are destroyed. The Brookhaven Animal Rescue League will keepan animal for as long as they can.

“We do not kill any animals unless they have a terminal disease.Once we get them, we take care of them for the rest of theirlives,” Ross said. “Nobody should have to die because nobody wantsthem.”

For further information on adopting, contact the league at833-4149 or the police officer in charge of the pound at833-2424.