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Consider a few factors before adopting a new friend: humane society

Thunder Bay & District Humane Society executive director Shawna Beaulieu shares tips for those looking to bring an animal into their home.
Luna is one of several dogs currently up for adoption at the Thunder Bay & District Humane Society.

THUNDER BAY – Having a pet around the house can bring a lot of joy to people as they get older.

However, there are some things to keep in mind if you are looking to bring a new cat or dog into your household.

For starters, it’s important to make sure that your living space is appropriate for an animal.

“If you are thinking of transitioning into a smaller space without a fenced-in yard or if you’re in a small apartment, you have to make sure that you are going to have the amount of time you will need to commit to a new animal,” said Shawna Beaulieu, executive director at the Thunder Bay & District Humane Society.

“For instance, if you’re bringing in a large breed dog to a space like that, you’ll have to commit a lot of time for walks outside. There’s a lot that you have to think about as you prepare for the future.”

Beaulieu also noted that it’s important to consider the exercise needs of a dog.

“Does the energy level of the dog match your lifestyle,” Beaulieu said. “For instance, if you find a large breed dog that’s great for walking on a leash, you can take the dog for one walk a day and that’s completely sufficient.

“If I’m thinking of adopting a dog, I would ask the questions of how much exercise does this dog need and if you can provide for that dog? That’s not just specific to an older age group as well - that can fit into anyone given their lifestyle.”

Beaulieu also said if there’s already a pet in your household, it’s important to find out the best way to introduce a new dog or cat into the space.

The TBDHS is currently looking for new homes for over 20 large breed adult dogs that have come into their care. They are holding a Dog-a-Palooza event this week - from Thursday until Sunday - with all adult dog adoption fees being by donation only.

The event is in response to an increase in dog surrenders and a decrease in the adoption of adult large breed dogs over the last couple of years.

“We thought that there might be a really specific cause as to why there has been an increase in the amount of adult dogs that have been surrendered to us, but that’s not the case,” Beaulieu said.

“It really depends on the situation. For some, there’s an overpopulation of animals in a home, but in other cases we see that people are moving to a different place or that they no longer have time to be with the dog.”

The Dog-A-Palooza event runs from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. on Thursday and Friday and from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday at the Humane Society’s location on 1535 Rosslyn Rd.

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