Groups invite student involvement in pet adoption

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For Nicole DeMaranville, pet adoption is not just doing a good deed; it’s her passion. DeMaranville, who graduated in 2008, became involved with pet adoption through college, but said it had always been something she grew up with.

“In my family, adopting an animal from a shelter or the streets was the only way to go,” she said.

A graduate student in business management, DeMaranville started Wildcats for Pet Adoption or Welfare, or PAW, in 2007 so students could be aware of animal welfare issues and become involved.

DeMaranville said she knew K-State students would respond to this type of club because that’s how Wildcats are: caring, kind and generous.

“I recognized the need for a campus club whose main purpose was to advocate for animal adoption and welfare as well as support local rescues who shared my view of the sanctity of an animal’s life,” DeMaranville said.

These days, controversy arises over people buying pets from purebred breeders or adopting them from a shelter. Many groups are fighting against certain breeders, especially the infamous puppy mills. Workers in local animal shelters said there are advantages to pet adoption over purebred breeders.

Riley County Humane Society President Tricia Elliott said the main advantage of pet adoption is the fees at an adoption organization are much lower than those of a breeder. She said animals from the Humane Society are all fully vetted with shots; Feline HIV, Feline Leukemia or heartworm testing; spayed or neutered; and microchipped.

“This always costs more than our adoption fees, but we take great care in making sure all of our animals are fully vetted,” Elliott said.

Barbara Smith, an animal shelter technician at T. Russell Reitz Animal Shelter in Manhattan, said because shelter animals are spayed and neutered, it gives people less reason to take animals and breed them.

“There are very irresponsible breeders out there,” Smith said.

Elliott said the Humane Society receives animals in all conditions, but many are usually healthy. She said most animals they receive come from shelters or are surrendered by their owners for various reasons. The ones in poor condition are nursed back to health so they are healthy when they go to homes.

“Those that are surrendered by owners usually are up-to-date on shots, have been spayed or neutered and are healthy,” Elliott said.

Elliott said the Humane Society has had college students adopt and that she thinks it is possible for students to be very responsible pet owners and provide stable homes. However, before adopting a pet, both Smith and DeMaranville said students need to think of the animal’s needs, not just their own. This includes checking if pets are allowed where a student lives and how much time the student would be able to spend with the pet.

“If you don’t have time to spend with the animal, then it is better off going to a home with family and children where they are able to give the animal that time,” Smith said.

For students who might not be able to adopt but still want to be involved with animals, students can join volunteer programs through the Humane Society or the shelter.

“They can have fun with animals and don’t have to worry about getting in trouble with their landlord,” Smith said.

For DeMaranville, rescuing animals is something she said she was put on Earth to do. She said she also thinks by students getting involved, they can have a big effect on animals.

“Every day I dedicate myself to saving all that I can and connecting with others who can help me achieve that goal,” she said. “So many animals can benefit from the love and compassion shown by K-State students.”

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