Adopt a Fur-ever friend this October

Pearl Jensen has had her dog Harley for a couple years now. He started out as a family dog, but when she began her freshman year at Minnesota State University, Mankato last year, she felt isolated living in the dorms. Now, Jensen lives off campus with Harley, and the feeling of isolation has gone away. 

“Having my dog this year means I have to go outside several times a day to let him out, which is sometimes annoying, but it clears my head from everything else I do, even if only for a few minutes,” she explains. “Having a living being depend on you for everything and being completely devoted to you is very calming when life gets chaotic.” 

Jensen, as well as many others, have had wonderful experiences with pets. 

The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, also known as the ASPCA, is celebrating its annual Adopt a Shelter Dog month that rolls around every October. This year, they are focusing on providing shelter dogs a new chance at a forever home. 

According to ASPCA’s website, “When you adopt a shelter dog, you are truly saving a life, which makes you a hero not only to the dog you rescue, but to every human who hears your story. In fact, adopting a dog may save two lives. The dog’s and your own.”

ASPCA also lists benefits to adopting a dog, including increased physical activity and socialization, better stress management, and lowered blood pressure and heart rate. 

Freshman Nia Dawson has a floormate with an emotional support dog and she explains, “I know a lot of people that have dogs to keep them company.” 

Dawson said she would consider owning a small dog if she didn’t live on-campus. 

Cats can also be great emotional support. 

Sophomore Maddie Dahl adopted her cat Hades in September.

“The dorms felt so lonely without the presence of an animal. I’ve wanted to adopt a cat for a while, so I did,” she says. “Having him here improves my mental health a lot. It’s something to look forward to at the end of a hard day. He’s essential to my life. By being here he makes it easier for me to live life.” 

If looking to adopt a shelter dog, BENCHS, or the Blue Earth Nicollet County Humane Society, in Mankato encourages the idea and can help you find the perfect match. 

“Adoption benefits are many, and more far reaching than many people may realize,” says dog adoption coordinator Kristina Bergeson. “When you adopt an animal, you are giving a home to an animal that previously did not have one. You are giving them the opportunity to live a long and happy life, when they may have previously been homeless or abandoned.” 

Furthermore, she explained, “Adopting an animal not only provides you with a wonderful new companion, it also helps lower the pet overpopulation rate by spaying or neutering, and even when you adopt a pet from a no-kill shelter like BENCHS, you are helping to lower the euthanasia rate in other shelters whom we partner with, and allow those shelters to help more animals as well.”

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