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On Monday, March 25, the English I class at Freeman Public will be holding an assembly about the importance of pet adotion and helping animals in need. The public is invited to come to the school at 1 p.m. to hear from the Heartland Humane Society of Yankton and see some of the pets available for adoption. The public is also invited to donate items needed by Heartland, including Dawn dish soap, dog/cat treats and toys, garbage bags (tall kitchen and lear lawn/leaf), paper towls and dog/cat/bird food.

As part of this awareness project, students in Paige Zachariasen's class wrote essays about the importance of pet adoption. The Courier is pleased to publish them here.


Have you ever thought about having a forever companion that has four legs and barks? If so, I have the perfect option for you. Pet adoption is a wonderful and beneficial thing. Tarzan, a retriever, Labrador/Australian Shepard, is looking for a fun, loving, and energetic forever home. Tarzan is located at the Heartland Humane Society in Yankton, South Dakota.  Homeless animals outnumber homeless people five to one. Animals like Tarzan need a chance at knowing how to be loved feels. Please think about adopting Tarzan today.

Owning a pet has so many benefits. Having that companion by you wherever you are will improve your social life, keep you fit and active, and reduce stress. Having an active dog will allow you to go out and meet new people, whether you’re out for a walk or even at a dog park. Studies show that just petting your dog can decrease the production of the stress hormone. Your dog would always be there for you and you would never have to worry about being alone.

Tarzan, for example, is a wonderful dog to adopt. He is a very playful, loving, energetic one year old that is looking for his forever companion. Tarzan is great around all ages, and he will play with toys or sticks for hours. He also loves to be walked and to run around. He is a milk chocolate color that is anxiously waiting to be adopted. Will you be the one to be his forever companion?

You may be hesitant in adopting a pet. You may think it is too much work. A pet can be a lot of work, but there will always be people to help you out. Having a pet will allow you to always have company, you are saving them from never being loved, and you will make the pet so much happier knowing he/she finally has someone. After a while, having a pet will seem like a piece of cake.

Please give Tarzan the forever home he deserves. If you are unable to adopt, there are other ways you can help these animals. You can donate food, toys, or money to the local Heartland Humane Society, but if you’re looking for a stronger way to help, contact the Humane Society in Yankton at (605)-664-4244 and ask to help volunteer. Adoption is a wonderful thing. Tarzan will keep you active and safe, while also being your friend and have a fun time with you. Please give Tarzan the lovable, playful home he deserves.   


Have you ever stopped to wonder what happens to the stray dogs and cats in your neighborhood?  You might think that animal control picks them off the street and someone else will have the joy of adopting the animal you saw.  However, that is rarely the case.  7.6 million cats and dogs are taken into animal shelters every year in the United States alone, but many are still left on the street.  Estimates for homeless cats have reached 70 million by themselves.  If you if you transfer this number to dogs, with the fact that only one out of ten dogs will find a permanent home, figures for dogs living a better, happier life are slim.  This is where you come into play.  You can only improve the life of these companion animals by adopting a pet, such as a dog, today.  The benefits that happen will reward you and your pet.

One good choice out of many is Poppy, a female brown and black dog from the Heartland Humane Society in Yankton.  Poppy is a little over three years old, weighs thirty-five pounds and is a mixed breed.  She hasn’t been introduced to children or cats yet, but with a patient, unwavering leader, I’m sure that she will enjoy the rest of your family.  Other preferences are an active home, treats, and confidence building.

But why would you want a pet in the first place?  If your child or teen is having a hard time dealing with stress from school, your new pet can relieve much of that by simply being there.  This ties in with the next point, pets can improve the mood of everyone in your family by just walking up to you and sitting on your feet.  Something you may consider more is that pets can help you socialize with your neighbors.  Another strong reason is that your pet can slow down allergies in children.  By being around a pet that is constantly going outside and bringing in new smells, your child or children can build up an immunity to allergies.

You most likely have a counter-argument along the lines of ‘I am only home in the evenings and at night.’  This could very well be true, but it doesn’t mean that your pet will be in a kennel for the day.  You could have a teen coming home from school watch your dog, or, in the summer, have a teenager pet sit your dog.

Overall, there is no real reason that you would not want a dog such as Poppy bringing joy to your children.  Poppy seems like she would have a great time with me, but I already have two dogs that keep me from falling into depression.  But I’m sure Poppy would love your home.  If you don’t want an animal in your house, but you are for the cause, you could sponsor Poppy to bring her cost down or donate food to the Heartland Humane Society.  If you are unfortunate enough that Poppy is gone when you check online to adopt her, there will be plenty more pets to choose from.


Only one of 10 dogs born will find a permanent home in their life. Out of 7.6 million animals that enter animal shelters, 3.9 million are dogs that have either been abused, left alone, or caught by the dog pound. Each year 2.7 million dogs and cats are killed due to not enough room at the animal shelters. So that’s why I think you should adopt a dog like Zoe from the Heartland Humane Society in Yankton.

Having Zoe around you or your family will have a ton of benefits that can really help you. Zoe can help reduce a lot of stress by playing with them or petting them. Zoe can help your child feel relaxed when they’re feel nervous because of a hormonal change. A dog can also help by decreasing your depression because usually being around pets appears to feed the soul increasing a sense of emotion.

Zoe is a mix between an Australian cattle dog and an American bulldog. She is a red and white colored female, about two years and three months old. If you love to play or you have kids that love to play, then Zoe is the right dog for you. She loves to play especially with toys, and she loves to be and live outside. Zoe is eager to learn from her leader. She likes new tricks.

Some people have reasons about why they don’t want to adopt a dog, like a dog costs too much, or I don’t have time to take care of a dog. A kind, caring, and playful dog like Zoe is worth the time and money. She will work hard to be the best pet she can be.

I encourage you to adopt a dog but if you absolutely can’t then you could foster a dog and watch them when you can. You can also donate food or volunteer at the Heartland Humane Society and take care of the animals. I hope you adopt or help Zoe and all the other animals. 


Despite 30 million families adding a pet to their home, 2.7 million animals are euthanized in shelters every year.  So why don’t these numbers add up? Most people go to breeders for their new pets instead of looking to shelters and helping save an animal life; people aren’t aware of the how badly shelter animals are in need. There are so many benefits of adopting animals from shelters; to see for yourself, Cassidy the lab/large dog mix is waiting in Sioux Falls Humane Society for her forever home.

There are so many benefits of adopting a pet. Just to name a few, after many studies it is proven that having a pet decreases stress. Stress can lead to headaches, upset stomach, high blood pressure, and problems sleeping. Having a pet helps you decrease your chances of these symptoms. Pets also help and prevent mental illnesses such as depression and anxiety. Speaking from experience, I used to struggle with anxiety so terribly I could barely sleep at night and was completely terrified of leaving my own house. I had heard that pets can help with mental illnesses and my parents were wiling to try anything to help me get through that terrible time, and I’ll tell you it was life-changing. My dog made me feel safe, secure, loved, and just overall helped me mentally by showing me that he will always be there. I barely struggle with my anxiety today, all thanks to my incredible dog. You can see the amazing results of adopting pets for yourself; right now, there are millions of animals waiting in shelters for their forever owner.

For example, this adorable and loving puppy named Cassidy a Black Lab/large dog mix is waiting in the Sioux Falls Humane Society Shelter for a loving family to take care of her for life. She is a 3-month-old sweet, playful puppy that is also good with other cats and dogs. She is not potty-trained but is ready to learn if there are treats as an award.  Cassidy would be a great addition to your family because you can train her to your preference. She could be and inside dog or an outside dog. She is also still young enough to be trained to be a hunting dog or a farm dog. Because Cassidy is so young, she could easily fit into any family or lifestyle when trained to do preferred behaviors. I hope you will think about adopting this adorable and sweet puppy. In the event that Cassidy has been adopted, please check the website for more sweet and loving animals.

I understand that you may have some opinions against adopting a new pet. Maybe you just don’t really care for animals. If that is the case, I recommend just getting to know a few animals; really try to enjoy their company. You’d be pleasantly surprised how easy it is to fall in love with their adorable faces. You can go visit animals at the shelter before adopting to see if you connect with that pet. Make sure you give the animal a chance before turning away one of the greatest things that could ever happen to you.

Adopting a pet is life-changing, but maybe a pet just doesn’t fit your schedule right now; there are other ways of helping shelter animals. If you’d like to help, you can donate food, money, or even your time to the animal shelters. So please, I’m begging you, let’s help those animals in need, one way or another. If you are interested in adopting, Cassidy is ready to shower you with love; are you willing to help?