Every year approximately 3-4 million companion animals are euthanized. There are many ways for all of us to get involved and help. If you and your family are looking for a furry friend, please don’t shop, adopt. Pets sold at pet stores are often brought in from “puppy mills”, facilities that breed large amounts of dogs in the poorest of conditions.
Not only does supporting these mills prolong this cruel practice, often times shop dogs and cats suffer from congenital defects and illnesses caused by their unsafe breeding environment. Local shelters have dozens of animals who are spayed and neutered, desperate for affection, and could be days away from being euthanized. Shelters are knowledgeable of animals’ temperaments and can help you choose the dog or cat the can best fit your family.
Adopting is the most effective way to make a difference but there are plenty of other ways to help shelters in your area. The use of “Humane Society” and “SPCA” does not mean the shelter in your area is funded by the larger organizations of similar name. Most often these shelters are not funded by the government, and rely primarily on public donations. Donations go toward animal health care, facility upkeep, and even office supplies for staff. Another way to help is by volunteering your time. What better way to spend your free time, than by getting hands on with animals who need your help and would love your company? You can also help out by donating goods and supplies. Shelters often accept public donations of dog and cat food, bedding, litter, and toys. Many shelters also make these donations available to people who are not able to feed their own animals even if they didn’t come from their shelter. (That particular service melts my heart!) Even staff supplies, such as pens, paper, and bottles of water, are appreciated. Any and everything can make a difference.