Bette Mae Olson and her dog, Ellie Mae, relax at home. Ellie Mae was adopted from the Nebraska Humane Society on Sept. 21, 2019. She was found under 11 pounds of matted fur when her previous owner died.

Having enough room at his house with a large enough yard was critical to middle school teacher Kevin Stricklett when he and his fiancee decided to get a dog.

“We just got a new house with a huge yard and I’ve always wanted a dog,” Stricklett said. “He absolutely loves the backyard and I could not imagine what he would be like in an apartment or even a smaller house.”

The process of adopting an animal involves a substantial amount of decision-making, both on the part of the adopters and the facility they are adopting from, said Pam Wiese, vice president of public relations and marketing for the Nebraska Humane Society.

The Nebraska Humane Society takes into account all aspects of people’s life when deciding if the animal they hope to adopt is suitable for them and their home, and vice-versa.

According to the Humane Society’s website, when someone decides they’d like to adopt, they must consider which type of animal best suits their household and family structure, which one they can best take care and what breed and temperament best suits their own.

It’s more than, what type of animal do I like?

The most important factor in deciding which animal to choose, Wiese said, is whether an adopter has the time and the resources to care for an animal and its ongoing expenses.

Megan Adams, a veterinarian assistant, adopted two cats from the Humane Society, even though she wanted a dog.

“Dogs are more expensive and harder to take care of,” Adams said. “When it is snowing, I don’t have to take my cat outside to go to the bathroom, either.”

The Humane Society lists budget issues as one of the top reasons to adopt a cat instead of a dog as medical expenses for dogs can be significantly more than for cats. Dogs can get sick more often and operations and medicine create a greater financial burden on the owner.

The Humane Society requires if new pet owners live in an apartment or house they rent, they must provide landlord approval before the pet can be adopted.

Wiese said children are another aspect to take into consideration prior to adoption. For example, puppies need more care and attention than an older dog so a home with four children is most likely not the best choice, she said.

Though most people who want a particular type of animal prepare for them before adopting, the Humane Society aims to ensure everyone who adopts is fully prepared for the responsibility that comes with caring for a pet.

“We try to make sure that every animal is a good fit for each owner,” Wiese said.

For more information on adopting from the Nebraska Humane Society and costs related to adoptions, visit

Derek Adams is a student at the University of Nebraska at Omaha and his story was an assignment in a newswriting and reporting class.

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