Saturday, April 03, 2010

Two simple things you can do to help homeless pets

This is way off-topic for me, but it's an important issue. Thousands of pets are euthanized in animal shelters in the U.S. every day. You may not realize that most animals brought into "kill" shelters are euthanized within 72 hours after they arrive, especially if they're sick, are an unpopular breed, or the shelter has no way of locating their owners. Thousands of dogs and cats are euthanized daily. There are two things that you can do that will help cut down on this senseless cruelty, whether or not you're a pet owner:
  1. Support free and low-cost spaying and neutering clinics: The single most important thing that pet owners can do to decrease the number of animals that are euthanized is to have their dogs and cats spayed and neutered. It should become something that's automatic for pet owners.
  2. Support no-kill shelters: An increasing number of shelters are adopting no-kill policies, but to do so is very expensive. No-kill shelters have limited space and resources, and often have to turn away pets because they have no more room. Many of these shelters take in dogs and cats from "kill" shelters that have potential, but will be euthanized unless they can be rescued.
If possible, you should adopt pets from no-kill shelters. This has three benefits:
  1. You give a loving dog or cat a good home,
  2. Your adoption fee will help to keep the shelter in operation, and
  3. By adopting a pet, you open a spot in the shelter so that another animal can be rescued.
I adopted my cat KayTee from a no-kill shelter. She had been there for ten months when I adopted her. If she had been abandoned to a "kill" shelter, she would have been kept for no more than a week, then euthanized. She, and the other cats and dogs in that no-kill shelter and others like it, are the lucky ones. There are millions of cats and dogs in the U.S. that aren't so lucky.

Whether you contribute to a spay & neuter service or a no-kill shelter, or adopt a pet from a no-kill shelter (and encourage other shelters in your area to adopt no-kill policies), you'll make a big difference in the lives of countless dogs and cats.

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