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AWLA: Achieve New Year’s Resolutions With a Shelter Pet

by ARLnow.com — January 8, 2013 at 3:35 pm 452 22 Comments

Animal Welfare League of Arlington sign near Shirlington

The Animal Welfare League of Arlington is touting the benefits of adopting a rescue animal as a pet.

The Shirlington-based organization, in a press release (below), said shelter pets can help you achieve your New Year’s resolutions.

Animal Welfare League of Arlington (AWLA) encourages you to make pets a part of your New Year’s resolution plan. Resolving to adopt a shelter pet will not only improve the quality of life for that animal, but will also enhance your own. A new pet can help you achieve many of the following most popular resolutions made each year.

  • Lose Weight, Get Healthy: According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, pets can reduce blood pressure, cholesterol levels, triglyceride levels and feelings of loneliness. Nearly 13.6 percent of Arlingtonians are obese, compared to the 24 percent national average. Adopting a dog as a workout partner can provide that needed motivation for daily exercise. Taking your dog for a daily 30-minute walk (or two 15-minute walks, one in the morning and one in the evening) will keep you moving and ensure that you meet the minimum recommendations for healthy physical activity. There are many dogs at the League waiting for a new human companion who wants to walk, jog, or run every day.
  • Reduce Stress: There is no better stress reducer than the companionship of a devoted pet. Stroking a cat, dog, or small companion animal is a calming activity, which can lower heart rate and blood pressure. Research has indicated that when people spend time with a pet their levels of cortisol, a hormone associated with stress, is lowered while their level of serotonin, a hormone associated with improved mood and well-being, is increased.
  • Spend More Time with Friends and Family: Pets are an excellent way to bring families together, and dog walking is a great way to meet new people. Humans are social animals and need to interact with others. Pet owners have a tendency to want to share time and experiences with other pet owners. Walking your dog or visiting a dog park lets you socialize with other owners while your dog socializes with their dogs.
  • Help Others: People can experience a big boost in their own mood from doing something good for others. By adopting an animal you will not only be helping, you will be rescuing a life. Most pet owners report that they actually benefit more from the relationship than their pet. Resolving to adopt from or volunteer with AWLA will not only provide you with an intrinsic reward, but also the satisfaction of enriching the lives of animals.
  • Enjoy Life More: Having a pet can really make a difference in your daily quality of life. While the bond between pets and their people can be described in many ways, the bond at its root is an unconditional and uncomplicated love. Pets are not only a devoted source of comfort and loyalty, but can also provide a sense of safety and security. Caring for a pet can lead to a richer, fuller, and more meaningful life.

This year make a New Year’s resolution to enrich your life by rescuing a shelter animal. To learn more about AWLA’s diverse selection of companion animals including cats, dogs, rabbits, birds, and hamsters, download Arlington Pets App; visit the League at 2650 S. Arlington Mill Drive or www.awla.org .

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  • I agree with AWLA??!!

    And not a damn word about bringing your freakin dog to a restaurant.

    Then again, not a single word about keeping your dog on a leash either when you are walking.

    and I’m a dog person – just not always *your* dog person.

    • Frank

      Sigh…bringing drama when none was needed. Doesn’t it ever get exhausting?

    • YTK

      Leash laws? See one off leash, call the animal warden– take a photo, TALK to the owner.
      Freakin dogs in restaurants? Maybe in Europe but not here where it’s bad enough to have to deal with someone’s human brats screaming and tossing things — actually the dogs would probably be better behaved but that’s another story.
      THANK YOU AWLA for all you are doing for the animals and the community!!!!!!!!!!!

      • O.C.

        AWLA doesn’t issue leash law citations.

  • AnalAnon

    That’s not the AWLA building. The AWLA is to the right of the sign, not shown in the picture.

    • drax

      True. The sign is across a street from the building shown. Highly misleading photo.

  • Arlingtoon

    I was wondering about that. I’ve never been there, but when I saw the picture my immediate reaction was “Wow — that’s one heck of a Hilton Hotel animal shelter.”

    • http://www.awla.org AWLA

      We encourage you to stop by sometime! While we are certainly not the Hilton, we do have a pretty nice facility for the animals!

  • Dezlboy

    And….consider adopting an older dog. Sometimes much easier to handle as past chewing stage, needs less exercise, bit more mellow.

    • YTK

      Consider adopting an older cat — I have 2 – one is 17, the other 13. They bring me lots of joy (so does my car customizing, camping, body-building, hiking and my hobbies) and they are all my responsibility to care for (I am not rich by any means). I am all my cats have – and I firmly believe that “A pet Is for Life” It breaks my heart to see pets dumped at a shelter because they “got old” — doesn’t the person who dumped them realize that THEY TOO are older????

    • S

      We wanted to adopt an older dog but didn’t do it for selfish reasons. I dont know if we could handle having them in our home for just a few years and then having to deal with the grief of losing them. I know it’s wrong. We brought in a 2 year old mix though.

  • Tabs

    Cats also need exercise, and while it’s not the same as running with a dog, tossing their toys around is exercise–and hilarious.

  • Stitch_Jones

    We have two shelter dogs at home. AWLA may want to ease up on the”qualifications” they require of dog owners, though. I know they want to avoid pets going to mismatched owners and pets being “returned,” but some (some, not all) of their adoption requirements are stringent. Especially when you can just hop over to the pound and get a dog or cat for a lot less hassle. Just something to think about. Otherwise, they have my support!

    • jonsie

      AWLA is Arlington’s “pound”
      Adoptions requirements don’t seem too strict to me:

      http://awla.org/adopt-a-pet.shtml

      • YTK

        jonsie i agree with you — and as for “hop”ping over to the pound– MOST pounds ALSO have adoption requirements. I never thought the requirements I had to sign and agree with were stringent. I hope the shelter knows that i cherish my cats and appreciate all the good work the shelter did for them when they were abandoned, before I adopted them.

      • WeiQiang

        Having adopted from AWLA, I think that their criteria are intended just to facilitate the best outcomes for the pet and the owners, which just isn’t easy. With different owners’ capabilities/experience, amout of time they have to commit to a dog, and living circumstances, some people with the finest intentions just shouldn’t have a dog. I’m very happy with how AWLA handles their adoptions.

        • http://www.awla.org Kerry

          WeiQiang, you are correct. At AWLA we just want to ensure both a positive outcome for both the animal and the adopter.

  • Cate

    Also consider older cats!

    I adopted my late cat Louie from the AWLA (his death was unrelated to his age – he was still relatively young, at 8, and far too young for liver cancer) and I can honestly say it was the best decision I ever made.

    • YTK

      Sorry to hear about Louie – he probably thought you were the best too. I lost Princess to Cancer at the age of 13– still far too young when you realize how long they can live and how well i cared for her since she was 1 1/2 yrs old.

      • Tabs

        My cat is 13 and couldn’t be healthier. My family’s had several cats live to between 18-20. All indoor/outdoor.

        I strongly recommend spending a bit extra for quality, grain-free food. Cats are carnivores and do not need rice/wheat/corn in their diets–that often leads to diabetes and kidney failure. That bit of extra money will save a lot in vet bills.

        • YTK

          True. Been there, done that — however I know of a friend’s cat who ate nothing but Fancy Feast for 23 years.

    • http://www.awla.org Kerry

      Sorry to hear about Louie, but glad to hear you hear you had a good experience! Thank you for your support of AWLA and older cats–they really do make great companions!

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