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Adopted Pets Bring a Gift of Love
By Betty Cianci

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Are you planning on purchasing a pet for yourself or family?  Are you uncertain about where you might locate a good healthy animal?  Adoptions at local shelters may be the answer. There are many occasions when healthy animals are turned over to shelters by a family due to relocation, illness, or incompatibility with other pets or family members. 

If you live in Worcester County, a good place to begin looking for an animal would be at the Worcester County Humane Society (WCHS) in Ocean City. This local humane society is a non-profit, non-kill facility where no pets are euthanized. Another place to check would be Worcester County Animal Control (WCAC). Although this organization's main thrust is to safely control needy animals and protect the public from aggressive and dangerous animals, there are times when dogs or cats are turned over by families and found suitable for adoption.

The WCHS is located at 12330 Eagles Nest Road, Ocean City, MD, 21842. The telephone number is 410-213-0146. Kenille Davies is the director.

Ms. Davies has acted in this volunteer capacity for thirty years and has brought to the facility her extensive knowledge on the care of animals. The history and physical condition of all the animals turned over to the Humane Society are carefully checked and veterinary care provided as required. Prospective families seeking to adopt a dog or cat are provided complete disclosure about the animal's background.

The fee for adoption is $50. All the animals are neutered before adoption or arrangements are made with a local veterinarian shortly thereafter. All the animals have received vaccinations and have been checked for heart worms. Currently there are about 50 dogs and 100 cats at this facility. To see pictures of some of these animals you can view them online by visiting and entering your information or simply enter a search for "Worcester County Humane Society." Animals pictured here are available at WCHS.

If you desire a pre-adoption form, you can also go online and type in There are a number of pertinent questions that must be answered on this form so assurances can be made that a new owner will adequately provide for a pet. They also require a veterinarian's name and telephone number that the adoptive family will be using. 

The WCHS receives no public funding. It relies on fund raising activities and private contributions from individuals and businesses to provide food and equipment. There is also a devoted core of volunteers who assist Ms. Davies in the care of the animals housed at the facility.

Thanks to private contributors, a majority of dogs sheltered at the society are able to sleep on Kuranda Beds.  The beds are poly-resin and cot-styled to keep the animals off the floor.  They have warm fabric for winter and porous material for summer.  Blankets are also provided the animals every evening. 

The cat population at the Society roams free in their separate room that has windows, shelves and trees.  There are also a number of Kuranda Beds for their use.  Kittens and cats with special needs are kept separate in private off the floor enclosures.

The WCAC, a division of the Worcester County Sheriffs Office opened a new building in February 2006.  The large 4800 square foot state of the art facility is located at 6207 Timmons Road in Snow Hill, MD. The Director is Clyde Curtis. The telephone number is 410-632-1340.  Currently there are nine dogs available for adoption, but no cats. A number of kittens were recently given to a rescue groups for adoption. The pictures of adoptable dogs are posted at the Wal-Mart in Pocomoke.

The adoption fee is $20 and WCAC will check applicant responses on the form with the veterinarian listed to see if previous pets received adequate care. There is also an additional $20 fee to secure a paid up coupon for a rabies vaccination that can be presented to any veterinarian by the new owner within the two-week compliance frame. No neutering is required for the adoption process but the facility strongly urges that it be done.

This facility also has two adoption rooms that offer residents the opportunity to spend time getting to know their prospective future pet. The residents can also bring in their other pets and family members to see if there is conflict.

While a new pet might seem like the perfect Christmas gift it should be noted that the WCHS does not allow adoptions two weeks before or after the Holiday Season, since that period can be stressful to an animal adjusting to their environment. But if the perfect pet is there just waiting the opportunity to share your home, it might make an excellent "belated" gift and in the process bring its own gift of love. When you adopt a second hand dog or cat, they can become a first rate pet.

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Uploaded: 12/12/2007