TAVARES — Anyone who has spent more than a couple of summers in Central Florida knows by now how to beat the heat – from hitting those well air-conditioned malls and movie theaters to jumping in the pool or driving to the beach.
Now, how about your pets? Keep in mind that while people can shed their coats, dogs and cats can’t — although the fur that keeps them warm in the winter can also protect them in the summer from taking on too much heat.
So your pets may enjoy being outdoors with you during the summer.
And if you don’t have any pets? As the Lake County Animal Shelter is pointing out, summer is the ideal time to consider adopting one.
To help promote pet adoptions, the Lake County Animal Shelter is teaming up with L.E.A.S.H., Inc., the non-profit group that works to assist feral cats and shelter animals.
Together, they’re sponsoring “Hot Dogs, Cool Cats,” a summer long pet adoption event they’re billing as “the hottest of the summer.”
“Hot Dogs, Cool Cats” will be held on the first Saturday of the month throughout the summer, or on June 3, July 1 and Aug. 5 at the shelter located at 28123 County Road 561 in Tavares.
On each of those Saturdays, there will be ongoing event for families to enjoy, with the added offer of pet adoptions at no cost from 10 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. and free hot dogs and popsicles being served between 11 a.m. and 2 p.m.
With the kids out of school, this promises to be a fun afternoon, said Brian Sheahan, Lake County’s community safety & compliance director.
“Summer is a wonderful season for families to consider adopting a pet,” he said. “Children are home from school and are able to spend time bonding and caring for their new best friend.”
The Lake County Animal Shelter also cited a study called “The Role of Pets in Enhancing Human Well-being: Effects on Child Development,” taken from The Waltham Book of Human-Animal Interaction.
The study suggests that having a family dog can benefit a child’s emotional intelligence, by increasing self-esteem and compassion, helping children feel accepted, improving cognitive development, lessening stress and contributing to overall happiness and health.
That’s worth keeping in mind when parents bring their children to these Saturday adoption events, Sheahan said.
“It is of course important when selecting a dog or cat for your family to ensure the particular animal is the right fit for your home and lifestyle,” Sheahan said. “Our staff and volunteers are happy to work with shelter visitors to find the perfect match for your household.”
To learn more about the Lake County Animal Shelter, or to adopt or volunteer, stop by the shelter, call 352-343-9688 or visit Lake County Animal Shelter.
Michael Freeman is an Orlando journalist, playwright and author of the book “Koby’s New Home”. Contact him at Freelineorlando@gmail.com.