By LEE CHAMBERS
Most people never forget the day they adopted their pet at Dakin Humane Society (frequently referred to as “Gotcha Day”).
The bustle and commotion on the adoption floor, the moment when you locked eyes with the pet that would become part of your family, and the excitement as you sailed out the door with your new companion at your side.
Â In a way, Dakin came home with your pet that day, too.
Â Our commitment to you doesn’t stop when you leave our adoption centers on the big day. We believe that a happy adoption is one that’s a great match of pet and person, and is well-supported afterward. That’s why we offer a variety of services and programs that are designed to keep people and their pets together.
Â A few weeks after your adoption date, you’ll receive a call from a Dakin adoption counselor who will ask how it’s going. If you have questions or concerns, let them know about it. Is your pet behaving in a way that baffles you during the adjustment period? Share your thoughts, and you can get tips from our staff to help your new friend settle in.
Â That support is there for the life of your Dakin pet, whether you got them three months ago or a dozen years ago. If you have questions about the behavior of your pet in any circumstance, we’re here for you. Did you add a new animal to your home and your Dakin adoptee isn’t handling it well? Are you packing up for a house move and worried about how your pet will adjust? Is there a shift in their temperament you just don’t understand? Give us a call.
Â If you adopt a dog or cat, they go home already spayed or neutered (or if not, the surgery is provided at a later date for no fee). We make sure dogs and cats are microchipped and have up-to-date, age-appropriate vaccines. Adopters get a certificate for a free examination at a participating veterinarian’s office. All of those extra benefits are included in the adoption fee to give your pet the healthiest head start possible.
Â Dakin dog training classes provide a great opportunity for people and their newly-adopted dogs of any age to bond, and learn how to respond to each other’s needs. Plus, there’s a 10% discount available to people who adopt shelter pets, are senior citizens (or have senior dogs), or are a member of the U.S. Military (Active, Reserve, Veteran, Retired).
Â Each Saturday our Springfield location offers a Vaccine and Microchip Clinic that serves the first 40 cats and dogs in line. Rabies vaccines cost $12, microchipping is done for $20 and there are many other treatments and tests available. While Dakin is staffed by licensed, fully-trained veterinarians and veterinary technicians, we advocate that pets receive ongoing care from a full-service veterinarian that you select. If you don’t have one, we’re happy to refer you to one in your area.
Â Some Dakin programs are designed to help people with animals that are facing especially tough times. Our Pet Food Bank program provides pet food that’s delivered to those in need through human service agencies throughout the Pioneer Valley. Our Safety Plan for Animals (SPAN) program offers care to pets belonging to people seeking emergency shelter due to domestic violence or a house fire, or who are facing a short-term stay at a medical facility. We arrange for pet care for up to 30 days at no cost.
Â We also believe in the importance of pet lovers connecting and socializing, so we hold a series of fundraising events each year that allow you and your pup to have fun and meet other folks (and canines). Dogs are allowed – and encouraged – to attend three of our biggest; Barks & Brews, Mutts & Mimosas and the Toasted Owl Gives a Hoot Halloween Fun Run. Keep an eye out for details about these events on our website (dakinhumane.org) and Facebook page (https://www.facebook.com/DakinHumaneSociety/), put a leash on your dog and join us in the fun.
Â We’re called Dakin Humane Society for a reason. We want to help animals find great people who will love and care for them, and we want to build a safe and happy community in the process. Thank you for supporting Dakin by being part of that community. We hope you’ll remember that we’re here for you, long after Gotcha Day.
Lee Chambers is media & public relations manager at Dakin Humane Society. Dakin delivers effective, innovative services to animals and the people who care about them.