Trusted local news leader for Prescott area communities since 1882
Sun, Aug. 25

Visit your local animal adoption agency to find a new pet and lifetime Valentine

Today we celebrate Valentine's Day, a day set aside to honor lovers. We suggest that this day is not limited to human lovers. It can also include our four legged

companions as they provide us with unconditional love and companionship throughout the year. Most of us understand the joy of having a pet. Many scientific studies have concluded there are health benefits pet owners enjoy such as lowered blood pressure, reduced anxiety, and a lower incidence of depression.

If you are a pet owner, you will probably agree that you do derive a great deal of comfort from your animal friend. As with any other living being, however, there are times when your lovable four-legged companion can cause distress through its bad behavior, similar to what can be encountered with your human-type significant other. Fortunately, the undesirable activity of your pet can usually be corrected through training and patience. Most pets want to please you. They simply must be taught to understand what is, and is not acceptable behavior. There are many sources of help you can seek if you're experiencing some problems. These sources include cable TV channels specializing in animal behavior; an almost unlimited supply of pet training books available at book stores as well as pet stores; and professional training facilities that can be found in the phone book yellow pages, or on the internet. YHS also offers training DVDs for dogs and cats with each adoption.

If you are not a pet owner but would like to take advantage of the health giving attributes that can be provided by adding a companion animal to your household, there's no time like the present. The Yavapai Humane Society and other animal rescue groups have many good candidates ready for adoption that can enrich your life and become your special Valentine for many years to come. We have a variety of cats, kittens, dogs and puppies from which to choose. The first step in the selection process is making sure everyone in the family wants to add a new member, and will assume responsibility for its care. Among the responsibilities involved is to keep a cat indoors and to provide a dog with regular walks on a leash - part of the health benefits for you! Fresh water should always be available. A good-quality pet food formulated for the type and age of your pet should be used. For a cat, a litter box that is cleaned on a regular basis needs to be provided.

You should also plan to take your cat and/or dog to a veterinarian for regular checkups and vaccinations. If everyone agrees to take on these new responsibilities, the fun can begin and the love will develop. You, along with other family members, must decide on the type of animal - a cat or kitten, a dog or puppy, or a combination of these. All animals come with varying personalities, and in an assortment of colors and sizes. Making a good choice can be a lengthy process and should not be rushed. We suggest you visit the YHS shelter, or check out our cat adoption facility at PetSmart. You can also do some homework before your visit by going to our website at www.yavapaihumane.org, and clicking on "Adopt a Pet," then click on "Petfinder.com."

While pet ownership requires commitment and determination, the rewards are many and varied. Research suggests that both children and adults can receive health benefits, not only emotional, but also physical, from regular contact with a loving pet.

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