The best things in life ARE free!
Arriving in Toronto five years ago not knowing a soul, I decided to cure my loneliness by adopting a cat from The Toronto Humane Society (THS). On an autumn day in 2002, I walked down through Regent Park (I was new) to the corner of Queen and River Streets and adopted Lester, who turned out to be The World's Greatest Cat.
It wasn't long before homesickness overwhelmed me once more. Again, I trooped down to the shelter (this time knowing better than to take unsavoury shortcuts) and adopted Paris-Marie (she came with the name and, quite frankly, it suits her).
When I discovered Paris didn't like other cats, I felt bad for Lester and made a third trip to the THS to pick up a friend for him – Eliot.
Then my mom called and told me not to go back to the THS if I couldn't leave without a cat.
Now, in an attempt to prevent myself from becoming what one psychiatrist who appeared on Oprah referred to as an “animal hoarder,” I'm turning to you, readers, to help the THS during a very critical time.
I received an e-mail this morning from the president of the THS, Tim Trow, who says the shelter is currently overflowing with hurt, lost and abandoned animals, and doesn't have space for any new ones needing care. Caring people who have room in their homes and their hearts for a new friend are invited to visit the shelter and adopt one of the wonderful animals patiently waiting for their "forever" home.
The Humane Society does not charge for animal adoptions, but you are encouraged to make a donation. At the time of adoption, your new cat or dog receives a lifetime microchip identification, treatment with a flea product, six weeks of pet insurance, all vaccinations to date, a sample of food (or a coupon) and a carry-home box. The THS also provides free literature on the many aspects of owning and caring for your pet.
Rabbits, mice, birds, gerbils, guinea pigs and ferrets can also be adopted at no cost. Vaccines are not required for these smaller pets. However, you should bring your own cage or, if you like, you may purchase one from the THS.
If you're thinking about getting a pet, please consider adopting one from The Toronto Humane Society, rather than buying from a pet store or breeder.
And, now that I think about it, what was I talking about before? Since I love animals AND I love Oprah, I would be crazy NOT to consider becoming an animal hoarder; it could just mean my big debut on her show! ¤ Noa
For more information on how you can help, visit the Toronto Humane Society website at www.torontohumanesociety.com.