December 26, 2016

Achieve Your New Year’s Resolution Through Compassion

A volunteer pets a dog during her dog walking shift at Greenhill Humane Society.
A volunteer pets a dog at Greenhill Humane Society.

Achieve Your New Year’s Resolution Through Compassion
Greenhill Humane Society shares how adopting a pet or volunteering can help you succeed in 2017.

December 26th, 2016

You can help homeless pets and yourself this New Year by adopting one of the many dogs, cats or small animals hoping for a home at Greenhill Humane Society and 1st Avenue Shelter. Can’t adopt? Achieve your goals by volunteering or fostering!

If your resolution is to:

Lose Weight – The CDC states that over 61% of Oregonians are overweight or obese. Added weight can increase the risk for many serious conditions, such as arthritis, diabetes, breathing problems, and heart disease (in people and in pets). estimates that over 50% of American pets are also overweight or obese. Together, you and your pet can improve your health and decrease weight by increasing physical activity. According to the ASPCA, regular exercise burns more calories, reduces appetite, changes body composition and will increase your pet’s resting metabolic rate. (All benefits that apply to humans, too!)

“Exercising together also improves your bond with your pet. Whether you’re going for a walk or playing tug inside on a rainy day, you’re improving your health and your relationship,” says Lauren Merge, Communications and Events Manager at Greenhill Humane Society.

Reduce Stress – Touching pets can be an antidote to depression. No one loves you more unconditionally than your pet.   One study published in the Journal of Vascular and Interventional Neurology found that having a pet may reduce blood pressure and relieve stress, and, as a result, reduce the risk of heart disease. Stroking or snuggling an animal can have a calming effect, which is beneficial to both people and pets.

Meet New People – Looking to meet people who you can share a bond with? Consider visiting or volunteering at local animal shelters. “We have many compassionate and caring volunteers,” says Merge. “If you love animals, you’ll find likeminded people here.” Spending time with people who share similar interests can forge lifelong friendships.

Sleep Better – Having a dog in your home can provide a sense of security, as both large and small dogs can create a disturbance that burglars would prefer to avoid. Being near a purring cat can reduce feelings of stress, which can promote better rest. Being well rested and relaxed helps you to be healthier, lose weight and be more productive at home and at work.

If you’re resolved to be healthier and more compassionate in 2017, consider adopting a pet, volunteering, or fostering at your local animal shelter. By adopting a homeless pet, you show compassion for an animal in need, and this can give you a greater sense of purpose. By volunteering, donating, or fostering, you are helping to save animals by supporting the lifesaving work of humane societies and animal shelters, while building a stronger community.