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AWLA: Achieve New Year’s Resolutions With a Shelter Pet

By ARLnow.com - ARLNow.com

Tuesday - 1/8/2013, 3:35pm  ET

Animal Welfare League of Arlington building near Shirlington

The Animal Welfare League of Arlington is touting the benefits of adopting a rescue animal as a pet.

The Shirlington-based organization, in a press release (below), said shelter pets can help you achieve your New Year’s resolutions.

Animal Welfare League of Arlington (AWLA) encourages you to make pets a part of your New Year’s resolution plan. Resolving to adopt a shelter pet will not only improve the quality of life for that animal, but will also enhance your own. A new pet can help you achieve many of the following most popular resolutions made each year.

  • Lose Weight, Get Healthy: According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, pets can reduce blood pressure, cholesterol levels, triglyceride levels and feelings of loneliness. Nearly 13.6 percent of Arlingtonians are obese, compared to the 24 percent national average. Adopting a dog as a workout partner can provide that needed motivation for daily exercise. Taking your dog for a daily 30-minute walk (or two 15-minute walks, one in the morning and one in the evening) will keep you moving and ensure that you meet the minimum recommendations for healthy physical activity. There are many dogs at the League waiting for a new human companion who wants to walk, jog, or run every day.
  • Reduce Stress: There is no better stress reducer than the companionship of a devoted pet. Stroking a cat, dog, or small companion animal is a calming activity, which can lower heart rate and blood pressure. Research has indicated that when people spend time with a pet their levels of cortisol, a hormone associated with stress, is lowered while their level of serotonin, a hormone associated with improved mood and well-being, is increased.
  • Spend More Time with Friends and Family: Pets are an excellent way to bring families together, and dog walking is a great way to meet new people. Humans are social animals and need to interact with others. Pet owners have a tendency to want to share time and experiences with other pet owners. Walking your dog or visiting a dog park lets you socialize with other owners while your dog socializes with their dogs.
  • Help Others: People can experience a big boost in their own mood from doing something good for others. By adopting an animal you will not only be helping, you will be rescuing a life. Most pet owners report that they actually benefit more from the relationship than their pet. Resolving to adopt from or volunteer with AWLA will not only provide you with an intrinsic reward, but also the satisfaction of enriching the lives of animals.
  • Enjoy Life More: Having a pet can really make a difference in your daily quality of life. While the bond between pets and their people can be described in many ways, the bond at its root is an unconditional and uncomplicated love. Pets are not only a devoted source of comfort and loyalty, but can also provide a sense of safety and security. Caring for a pet can lead to a richer, fuller, and more meaningful life.

This year make a New Year’s resolution to enrich your life by rescuing a shelter animal. To learn more about AWLA’s diverse selection of companion animals including cats, dogs, rabbits, birds, and hamsters, download Arlington Pets App; visit the League at 2650 S. Arlington Mill Drive or www.awla.org .