Eastern students discuss adopted dogs

Heather Suarez, Staff Reporter

October is predominantly known for Halloween, trick-or-treating and candy, but candy is not the only sweet thing being celebrated. October is also National Adopt a Shelter Dog Month.

This tradition began in 1981 to promote the adoption of dogs from local shelters and to help the dogs find their forever homes.

Kaytlyn Richmond, a senior psychology major says her dog’s name is Marnie and that she is a lab/pit bull mix Richmond’s family adopted. 

“I prefer to adopt, it gives them a second chance at life…and to make them have a happier life,” Richmond said. 

Angelina Loparco, senior history education major, said that she preferred to adopt because of the benefits in comparison to buying a dog from a breeder.

“It’s much cheaper to adopt, usually a few hundred dollars at most,” Loparco said. “And the dog is more often than not already potty trained, crate trained, dog socialized and people friendly.”

The Coles County Animal Shelter is in Charleston. Due to COVID-19, they have adjusted their procedures to mitigate the spread of the virus. To apply for adoption, you must message them with basic information in order to be approved to see the dogs. The private appointments are conducted outside as weather permits. They do note that masks are required, and one must follow their guide on Facebook in order to be approved.

They have room for roughly 32 dogs according to their most recently posted numbers, so finding homes for these dogs is crucial in order to prevent dogs from being turned away or euthanized. 

According to their website, there is a multitude of reasons why dogs end up on the streets, but loss of home and the inability to own pets in a new apartment are the main reasons. Therefore, owning or adopting a dog should not be taken lightly. Adopting a dog is a rewarding feat but it comes with costs, both in time and money.

The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals states that owning a medium sized dog can come up to around $500 a year, considering the cost of food and annual vet trips.   

The average cost of an apartment in Charleston can range from three to five hundred dollars per month plus. It must be taken into consideration when wanting to adopt a dog.

Dogs also need a substantial amount of time for them to prosper. Dogs need plenty of play time, exercise and attention in order for them to be happy. That can be hard to give if a student is already pressed for time with schoolwork. 

Although this may sound like the negatives, it is important to think about these factors when adopting a dog so that dog does not end up in the same place. 

Dogs, despite the work, can offer their owner a multitude of benefits besides the obvious companionship, as they offer a way to get active by walking them each day or playing with them. 

Loparco said that her dog has always made her feel loved.

“The best part of adopting my dog has been the bond I’ve created with her. She literally doesn’t know what personal space is,” Loparco said. “I’m never alone and she’s always cuddling up either next to me or on top of me.”


Heather Suarez can be reached at 581-2812 or [email protected]