The holiday season is upon us and everyone is searching for the perfect gift. A furry friend may be just what Santa ordered. If that’s the case, officials urge you to consider adoption rather than buying a pet for your new Christmas addition.
The El Campo Animal Shelter, 101 N. Wharton, has dogs and kittens readily available with an easy adoption process.
“Pet adoption gives you the chance to show the caring side of humanity to an animal that may have already experienced some of the worst side,” Animal Control Officer Megan Jurasek said.
There is no fee associated with the adoption through the animal control facility, however in the adoption contract owners agree to have the animal sterilized to lower the incidence of future strays.
Coastal Plains Animal Clinic, 3056 N. Mechanic, has an agreement with the City of El Campo to provide those services at a reduced rate for animals adopted from the shelter.
In addition, there are other programs in Wharton County such as Prevent Unwanted Pets (PUPS) and Stray Pet Outreach Team (SPOT) that have spay/neuter programs. Those services can also be used for existing pets not adopted from the shelter.
Beyond complying with the animal sterilization policy, owners must verify they have the space to accommodate the animal and if renting their dwelling, permission to own an animal of the size they are attempting to adopt.
The decision take on an animal is a big responsibility and animal control officers want prospective pet owners to be aware of the time and space commitments.
The animals that come through the facility are usually either stray animals that have been found or those surrendered by owners who could no longer care for them.
Owner surrender is never a good option, said Jurasek. That’s why shelter staff want to ensure that adoptive pet owners, or even those who buy a pet fully understand the responsibility they are taking on, to decrease the rate of those surrenders.
The shelter does its best to be pro-life and use euthanasia of animals only as a last resort. They strive to place the animals locally or through pet adoption networks that may find a foster or permanent home for animals in a different county or even state.
Space is limited at the animal shelter and finding good homes for these animals is always a worthwhile goal.
“People that say money can’t buy happiness have never paid an adoption fee,” Jurasek said.
Shelter hours of operation are 8 a.m. - 5 p.m. weekdays, but 8 - 11 a.m. or 3 - 5 p.m. are the best hours for citizens to visit and choose a potential pet. If wanting to confirm staff is on site, call 979-541-5097. The shelter is also accepting donations of various pet supplies including, but not limited to: dog and cat food, collars, leashes, toys and bedding.