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Monday, May 27, 2024

September is a busy month for Gainesville Pet Rescue as students are returning to school, settling into their lives and looking to adopt a pet, said Cheryl Gibson, executive director of GPR.

Ninety percent of the pets at GPR are taken from Alachua County Animal Services, said Andrea Conahay, 30, the GPR volunteer coordinator.

Gibson suggested that pets only be adopted if an individual has the time available to care for an animal.

Students will adopt a pet, usually replacing their family pet, but realize it is more work than they can handle and bring the animal back to GPR, Gibson said.

When an animal is brought back to GPR after it is adopted, the organization must find it another foster home by the end of the workday, Gibson said.

Conahay suggested that students get accustom to college before adding a pet into their life, but volunteering to become a foster parent is a good alternative to the long term commitment of adopting an animal.

Foster parents volunteer to care for pets on a temporary basis until a permanent home adopts the animal, Conahay said.

"Fostering enables someone to have a pet and also save the life of an animal," Gibson said. "We can only have as many pets as we have foster homes."

Ezra, a brown, striped tabby kitten, looked around the small front lobby of GPR while her new owner finalized the paperwork and paid the ,75 fee for her adoption.

Robert Day, a 20-year-old SFCC student, has fostered animals previously and knew he wanted a permanent addition to his home.

"I am excited about the commitment of caring for an animal," Day said. "That is what I was looking to make, a commitment."

Day said he decided to adopt his pet from GPR to support its pet rescue work.

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"I found her online and decided to come and see her," Day said. "I have been looking for a cat for over a year now. I held her and that was it. She was the one for me."

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