DEAR ABBY: This year the Pet Adoptathon '97 -- that lifesaving spring weekend when animal organizations join together to find a home for each and every pet in shelters throughout the world -- will take place May 3 and 4. Once again, North Shore Animal League and the Iams Co. are sponsoring this international event in shelters and humane societies throughout the United States, Canada, England and South America.
All participating shelters and North Shore Animal League's most famous adoptees -- Scarlett and her kittens -- issue this urgent plea to animal lovers everywhere: Visit your local Adoptathon shelter on May 3 or 4, and adopt a loving dog, cat, puppy or kitten. You'll receive a free Iams starter kit, which includes pet food as well as literature on responsible pet ownership. But best of all, you'll get a lifetime of companionship and unconditional love from a cute and cuddly furry friend.
For the name of a shelter near you, call the Adoptathon hotline: 1-800-863-4267, Monday through Saturday, 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. EDT. You can also visit us at www.iams.com. -- MIKE ARMS, NORTH SHORE ANIMAL LEAGUE, PORT WASHINGTON, N.Y.
DEAR MIKE: The Pet Adoptathon is a worthy program, but I must issue a word of caution:
Readers: Before you rush out to adopt that adorable little pet who is guaranteed to give you boundless love, please take a moment to be sure you are ready to make a commitment that will last for many years.
Pets are wonderful, but they require proper care and attention, and many require training to be the pleasurable companions you may be seeking. If you are ready for this responsibility, get to the shelter early and select the pet who was born to be loved by you!