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Adopt a Shelter Pet
Adopt a Shelter Pet

National Adopt a Shelter Pet Day is observed each year on April 30 as a way to raise awareness for thousands of pets that are waiting for their “fur-ever” home. Due to the current coronavirus pandemic, shelters are facing more challenges than ever. Pets of every size, color, temperament and breed are waiting to meet their future families right now at your local shelter.

Now is a great time to consider adopting or fostering a pet: you have time to bond together and do some essential housebreaking training.

Many of the domestic animals at Point Defiance Zoo & Aquarium were adopted from rescue programs.

Herald & Mazie Mae

Point Defiance Zoo & Aquarium’s two dog superstars, 13-year-old Herald and 3-year-old Mazie Mae, are both mixed-breed dogs adopted from rescue facilities. Herald was adopted from The Humane Society for Tacoma & Pierce County and arrived at the zoo in 2010. Mazie Mae was adopted from Animal Aid and Rescue Foundation in 2017. While they look similar, Herald and Mazie aren’t actually related. The duo live behind the scenes but can be seen walking around the zoo with a keeper during Close Encounters or starring in shows at the Wild Wonders Outdoor Theater.

Dog superstars, 13-year-old Herald and 3-year-old Mazie Mae, are both mixed-breed dogs adopted from rescue facilities.

Guinea Pigs

Point Defiance Zoo & Aquarium’s four guinea pigs also were adopted from The Humane Society for Tacoma & Pierce County. Guinea pig Beignet was pregnant and had her three babies while at the shelter. The zoo adopted the whole family. Keepers say they are the sweetest guinea pigs, which is why they named them Beignet (mom), Cannoli and Strudel (daughters) and Fritter (son). The family lives behind the scenes at Contact Junction in Kids’ Zone but can be seen at random times venturing out for Close Encounters when the weather permits.

Ferrets

The zoo’s two ferrets, Wagner and Nelson, were also adopted from The Humane Society for Tacoma & Pierce County. Now, the duo have each other and get a lot of care and attention from their keepers. Keepers say they have a mix of silliness and sleepiness. Wagner and Nelson also live behind the scenes at Contact Junction in Kids’ Zone and love an adventure through zoo grounds (on a harness of course, safety first!)

ferrets being held in hand
The zoo’s two ferrets, Wagner and Nelson, were adopted from The Humane Society for Tacoma & Pierce County.

Why adopt a shelter pet?

Every year, it’s estimated that more than one million adoptable dogs and cats are euthanized in America. The reason? Too many pets come into shelters and too few people consider adoption when looking for a pet. By adopting, you’re helping to lower that number of animals euthanized and you save an animal. (Of note: The Humane Society for Tacoma & Pierce County doesn’t euthanize shelter pets for length of stay or for lack of space).  Adopting an animal is also more cost-efficient. Normally, first vaccinations, spay/neuter and often microchipping is included in the adoption price. At the Humane Society for Tacoma & Pierce County, every pet that is adopted will come home with a spay/neuter surgery completed, a microchip with national registration, flea medicine, initial vaccines and pet care counseling.

If you adopt an older animal, you may also save on housebreaking expenses (your carpet will thank you!).  At shelters, your payment also goes directly toward helping them better care for the animals they take in.