Connie, Harold and Max

Connie, Harold and Max at Suncoast Humane Society.

The rewards of having a pet as a family member are countless. Their unconditional love is priceless. There are plenty of physical and mental benefits to having a pet.

Adoption personnel at humane societies love to hear how adopting a pet has helped to improve the quality of life for the pet and the owners. The human-animal bond is strong, and on occasion, a special connection can be even stronger.

Harold and Connie monitored the adoptable animals on Suncoast Humane Society’s website for quite a while. They had lost their cherished poodle some time ago. Then they spotted Max on the adoption page.

Max, a 7-year-old miniature poodle, had been through a rough period and was suffering from dental disease. In fact, 11 of his teeth had to be extracted by the medical team at Suncoast Humane Society. He had also been placed on a special diet because of kidney problems.

“My husband, Harold, and Max bonded immediately,” Connie said. “Max is Harold’s shadow; Harold treats him like a human, not a dog.

“Max has definitely been a blessing for Harold, and we love him dearly. You see, Harold suffers from early stages of dementia, and having Max has definitely made a difference in his life.”

Time spent with pets can help lower cholesterol, triglycerides and even blood pressure. Department of Health statistics show that 28 percent of pet owners who had suffered a serious heart attack survived, compared to only 6 percent of non-pet owners.

Okay, have you considered adopting a pet?

Owning pets can help us relax, reduce anxiety and even create a daily routine, including feeding them daily, grooming them and playing with them.

And think of the physical benefit of walking your pet and enjoying the beautiful Florida environment.

Above all, pets make wonderful companions. Make time today to appreciate your pet with a tender word or pat on the head.

If you want to add a pet to your family, consider Suncoast Humane Society or another animal shelter or pet adoption agency. There are many homeless animals just waiting for a special home.

May Pet Month fundraiserDuring May, National Pet Month, for every reusable Community Bag bought at the Winn-Dixie at 4100 South McCall Road, Englewood, Suncoast Humane Society will receive the $1 default donation. Support SHS by purchasing a Community Bag.

Find a colorful, reusable Community Bag with a Giving Tag on the reusable bag rack at the store. The key is the bags have a tag that features a blue heart with $1 in it. Visit Humane.org.

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