Posted at 12:45 p.m. Feb. 15, 2016

Adoption an option

Emilygrace Piel

For students who are thinking about getting a pet, there’s a lot to consider when taking on this responsibility.

The American Kennel Club estimates that it costs an average of $3085 to take care of a dog for the first year of its life, and peteducation.com estimates yearly costs for a cat to be $862. When trying to afford college tuition, books and rent, while also trying to balance long nights, studying and a social life, adding a pet into the mix may not be the best idea.

While adoption may not be ideal for some college students, volunteering and fostering pets is another option. Students get to work with animals and see if they’re ready for such a big commitment.

“We hesitate to encourage students to adopt, but we’re actually really happy to encourage them to foster,” said Britney Wallesch, the founder and executive director of Black Dog Animal Rescue. Wallesch said that her shelter sees a high turnover in pets adopted by college students because they’re not as established and will give up their pets after big life changes such as moving, getting married or having kids.

Katie Groth, a human services major at LCCC who also volunteers for Black Dog, said that taking care of her dogs is a 24-hours-a-day, seven-days-a-week commitment. “You’re constantly working with them,” said Groth, “I schedule my classes so they’re all on the same day and I have a couple hour breaks in between so I can go home, let the dogs out, and then come back.”

To volunteer or adopt through Black Dog students can contact Britney Wallesch at 307-214-6600. Students can also contact the Cheyenne Animal Shelter for adoption or volunteer opportunities, which can be reached at 307-632-6655.

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