XENIA — During the holiday season, McColaugh Funeral Home is helping animals find their forever homes.
Throughout December, McColaugh will cover adoption fees for animals featured in this newspaper.
McColaugh is in the business of caring for those who have died and their families. But Funeral Director Mary Carr Massie said pets are important.
“We are doing it because it is proven that pets are beneficial to mental health,” she said. “We want to bring positive attention to the topic of mental health. It is a good outreach to the community. We deal with helping people through bad times and grief. We want to help people overall.”
Getting people to adopt pets is not always an easy task as various roadblocks can get in the way of pets finding new homes. For people wanting to adopt a pet, McColaugh wants to make sure the fees are no problem.
“I think that it is a great way to get pets adopted,” said Greene County Animal Care and Control Director Julie Holmes-Taylor. “With COVID being present, money is especially tight for families. People are reluctant to take pets in. McColaugh is making it easier for people to get pets.”
The rescues and shelters work to make sure other potential roadblocks do not come to fruition. One concern families share with rescues and shelters is the health of the animal.
“We have a full-time veterinarian that works here,” The Tenth Life C0-Owner Marsha Kerns said. “The cats are spayed and neutered. They receive vaccines. Any medical attention needed is taken care of. Internal and external parasites are taken care of. Before they leave for adoption, the cats are micro-chipped.”
Whenever possible, the animal’s background information is obtained. Sometimes animals are removed from negative situations and when that happens, the animal’s history may not be available, especially at Greene County Animal Care and Control.
“Seventy percent of our animals are strays,” Holmes-Taylor said. “Owner surrenders happen too. Also, cruelty situations take place. In cruelty situations, pets are removed from their living situations. That is done with the assistance of a warrant.”
Shelters and rescues take great care to make sure animals go to good, loving homes. Screening potential pet owners is a necessity.
“We have an application on our website,” Aileen Grech of Francis Kennels Rescue said. “It has to be completed. We have to get vet information and references. Information about homes is important. In order to ensure that home conditions are suitable for pets, home visits take place. For example, yards are inspected. If yards are not suitable, pets can get loose.”
If a potential adoption does not work out, the animal will remain at the shelter or rescue until a forever home is found.
“Adult pets stay the longest,” Grech said. “We have trouble getting adult cats adopted. Everyone wants kittens. No one wants adult cats. Puppies and kittens are easy to get adopted. Due to their negative stigma, pit bulls are hard to get adopted. Pets are here until they get adopted.”
Once they are adopted, Holmes-Taylor hopes she never sees them again.
“I do not want pets to come back,” she said. “I want them to go to their forever homes.”
Donations of food, cleaning supplies, and/or money to a rescue or shelter can be made in lieu of adopting a pet.
Reach Darryl McGee at 937-502-4534