WSVN -- Shelters throughout South Florida are bursting at the seams with pets that have been surrendered or abandoned. Beautiful dogs, curious cats, even a hedgehog and a three legged pig, all with one thing in common, they need a home.Jeannette Christos, Tri County Humane Society: "Our surrenders are up 40 percent from last year, and also, what people are doing is they are moving out and leaving their dogs in their backyards, so our animal pick-up is up 30 percent from last year from abandoned animals, which is so sad."Jeannette Christos runs the Tri County Humane Society in Boca. It is a no kill facility with no room left. There's a population explosion in South Florida and at shelters across the country.At Felix Varela Senior High in South Miami-Dade, vet tech students have teamed up with Friends Forever Rescue to save lives and learn at the same time. This shelter too is at capacity.Dee Chess, Friends Forever Rescue: "People that aren't surrendering their animals are letting them out on the street, and we get calls constantly all day long about dogs running the street. Dogs being thrown out of cars, it is just really, really horrible."At the Broward County Humane Society more great pets, even fancy pure bred dogs are waiting for homes.Cherie Wachter, Broward Humane Society: "Many of these dogs and cats have done nothing wrong, they are just a victim of the economic situation we are all facing."So, if there's a new pet in your future, you might want to consider bringing home a rescue animal. The experts say there are lots of advantages. For example, puppies take a lot of work. They chew things and have to be housebroken, but not the grown-ups.Jeannette Christos: "We have so many great animals here that are housebroken, that are still young. We know their temperament. They are good with children. They are good with other animals."Even senior citizens can make special pets. Cherie Wachter from the Broward Humane Society has adopted several herself.Cherie Wachter: "They know they are getting a second chance, they are devoted to you, they bond with you and whoever said that you can't teach an old dog new tricks really hasn't had the opportunity to adopt and older dog."Rescue pets seem to know they have been saved, especially those that were abandoned to the streets or mistreated.Dee Chess: "And I think that these dogs appreciate it when they get a really good home. They know because they are coming from places where they didn't have a really good home."If you bring a shelter pet home for the holidays you give the gift of life. In return, you'll receive years of love and loyalty.
FOR MORE INFORMATION: Friends Forever Rescue 786-229-9002 Tri County Humane Society 561-482-8181 Broward Humane Society 954-989-3977