North Texas Daily

The benefits of owning pets in college

The benefits of owning pets in college

The benefits of owning pets in college
May 31
16:56 2017

Julia Falcon | Staff Writer

Growing up, I was always surrounded by animals. Cats, ducks, pigs, fish, you name it. When I moved out of my mom’s house and into my one-bedroom apartment in Denton, it took me a while to adjust to how oddly quiet it was without having a meowing alarm clock.

I was never left alone. I always worked, attended class or hung out with friends. But last April, I adopted a kitten from an animal shelter in McKinney, which had been “code red,” meaning that this shelter was full of animals and offered adoptions for $25 versus the standard $60.

Many animal shelters across the country euthanize the animals who are left over and not adopted. This is a rising problem, and groups such as PETA or ASPCA suggest to adopt pets in lieu of shopping for them.

Although this shelter has been sporadically code red for months now, they continually struggle to bring people in to adopt and clear out the shelter.

Each year, approximately 2.7 million dogs and cats are euthanized because they could not find homes. By adopting a furry friend from the shelter instead of shopping, you could help shrink that number.

Adopting from the shelter also helps fight puppy mills, which breed dogs solely for the income the pups bring in. Dogs that are bred in these mills are often kept in stacked cages, producing dogs with health and emotional issues.

In Denton, many apartments and other residences allow pets to live there for a price, while some don’t. This leaves students and their pets with no other choice but to return to the shelter because of the price, or because their home doesn’t allow the furry roommate.

With the number of animals entering the shelters is higher than the number of animals leaving the shelters, the never-ending cycle of overflowing shelters continues.

Most students have jobs, full-time class schedules and extracurricular activities. Having a pet is like having a child, and these difficulties come with new perspectives and life lessons to be learned. I’ve learned a lot in the short few months of owning my cat, Lana.

The perks of adopting from your local shelter include cheaper adoption fees, fighting puppy mills, already being housebroken, generally all shots, microchipping and spay and neutering are taken care of. Not to mention making a new best friend.

Since I adopted Lana, I have felt a more maternal instinct. I worry about her when I’m leaving for a 12-hour shift at work, I wonder what she is thinking when I’m focused on something else and in general, I can tell how much she has made an impact on my life. I feel so much more responsible than I did before, I am learning more about being a pet owner and surprisingly, learning more about myself.

Coming home to a dog, cat or even a pig who is excited to see you and sit in your lap makes all the emotional difference in your stressful life.

Featured Illustration: Samuel Wiggins

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Julia Falcon

Julia Falcon

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