All shelter pets receive a health check prior to being put up for adoption

Published in the August 31 – September 13, 2016 issue of Morgan Hill Life

By Staff Report

SHELTER LOGOEach year, more than 3,000 dogs and cats call the Santa Clara County Animal Shelter their temporary home. Last year, 93.8 percent of the animals that came into the San Martin-based shelter had a positive outcome, either reuniting with their owners or through adoptions.

The shelter houses stray and unwanted animals from the unincorporated areas of Santa Clara County and also animals transferred from the Morgan Hill and Gilroy police departments as well as other shelters in need. Morgan Hill Life asked Lisa Jenkins, interim program manager for Animal Care and Control with the County of Santa Clara, about why local people might want to consider the shelter when seeking a feline or canine pet.

What are the benefits in adopting a pet from the shelter — rather than purchase one from a breeder?

When you adopt a pet from a shelter, you are saving that pet. If saving the lives of shelter animals is important to you, this is one of the best ways to help. In addition, pets adopted from a shelter have been vaccinated, spayed or neutered and microchipped. The value of these services far outweighs the $90-$120 adoption fee that you would pay at the county shelter.

How healthy are the pets available for adoption at the shelter?

All shelter pets receive a health check prior to being adopted. If the animal has a medical issue that can be resolved, we treat it at the shelter or provide the adopter with support to care for it at home. We do adopt special needs pets with medical issues that may require long-term care, but whenever we know about medical issues, we disclose them and consult with the adopter so they can decide if they will be able to meet that animal’s needs.

How difficult is it for people to adopt a pet from the shelter?

We strive to make the adoption process as easy as possible. If they came to us they are already making a great decision and are demonstrating their desire to help. We want to be there to support them and give them the tools they need to be great pet owners. Of course, we consult our database to ensure we do not adopt animals to people with a history of animal neglect or cruelty.

What advice might you give a family or individual in selecting a pet?

For families looking to adopt a shelter pet I would suggest that they give some thought in advance to how they see the pet fitting into their lifestyle. Are they looking to take a dog on hikes? Wanting a kitty that is playful with children? Looking for an independent pooch who can be home alone while the family is at work? Often adopters have an idea about a breed or a look they like but have not given much thought to how the individual personality of the pet will fit into their lifestyle. If families come in with an idea of what traits will fit into their lives best, shelter staff and volunteers who are very familiar with each pet’s personality can make great suggestions. They are wonderful matchmakers.

Santa Clara County Animal Shelter

Location: 12370 Murphy Ave, San Martin
Contact: (408) 686-3900