The struggle for pet owners with allergies to live comfortably with their favorite animals can be eased through education and control of the situation, officials at the Seattle Humane Society report.
Spokesmen at the Humane Society say that allergies represent the primary reason that people decide to surrender their pets to a shelter or other accommodation. However, Brenda Barnette, CEO of the Seattle Humane Society, tells allergy sufferers that comfortable pet care is still possible.
"I know cat owners with severe asthma," Barnette told reporters from NBC affiliate King 5. "They’ve educated themselves, and now they take a few precautions to ensure that the cats don’t interfere with their own health."
While the news source indicates that no dogs or cats are completely "non-allergenic", some "hypo-allergenic" breeds are known to cause less of a reaction among allergy sufferers. These breeds include poodles, schnauzers and Portuguese water dogs. While there are fewer in this class among cats, experts say the hairless types and the Cornish Rex are known to reduce the severity of allergic reactions.
Furthermore, eliminating carpeting, frequently vacuuming or mopping, and using a high-efficiency furnace filter can reduce the amount of allergens in a household.
According to the U.S. Humane Society, about 15 percent of Americans are allergic to dogs or cats.