The last day in the month of April will be the start of a new chapter in the lives of many homeless dogs and cats as National Adopt a Shelter Pet Day shines a spotlight on the need to choose the option of pet adoption.
According to the ASPCA, approximately 7.6 million companion animals– roughly 3.9 million dogs and 3.4 million cats– find themselves in the U.S. shelter system each year. Although 1.4 million dogs and 1.3 million cats in animal shelters find forever homes annually, another 1.2 million dogs and 1.4 million cats face their fate each year in kill shelters– that’s one precious life lost every 13 seconds. While the statistics may be discouraging, we as animal lovers must take the words of dog behaviorist Karen Davidson to heart: “Saving one dog will not change the world, but surely for that one dog, the world will change forever.”
Facts about Shelter Pets
- Companion animals did not wind up in a shelter because they are in need of repair. The most sited reasons given by guardians for relinquishing a dog to a shelter are 1) relocation to housing with a no pets policy and 2) too many pets.
- For those who have their heart set on a purebred dog, 20 to 30 percent of our four-legged friends who enter U.S. shelters are purebred. Along with looking in local shelters, potential pet parents can also contact breed specific rescue organizations in their area.
- By finding your pal with paws at a shelter, you are playing an active role in efforts to put an end to puppy mills.
How You Can Help
For a myriad of reasons, many of us will not add a new furry member to our family on National Adopt a Shelter Pet Day, but we can still commemorate the day by helping dogs and cats in need:
- Find out how you can donate your time as a shelter volunteer.
- If you are ready for the responsibility, sign up with a shelter to rescue organization to foster a feline or Fido who is waiting for a forever home. By giving an animal in need personal attention in a home environment you can help a dog or cat de-stress from shelter life, provide information regarding the dog or cat’s behavior which can aid in adoption, and save a life by freeing up space in the shelter.
- Make a monetary donation or contribute much-needed daily supplies to your local shelter.
- Support your favorite shelter or rescue through internet searches on GoodSearch.com, or give hope each day with a free click at www.theanimalrescuesite.com.
- Spread the word about shelter adoption by sharing a photo of a shelter dog or cat via social media.
Photo Credit: Pixabay