Happy National Pet Day! We’re celebrating today by highlighting different ways you can help cats and dogs who are at their most vulnerable….shelter pets. Animals in shelters are just like any other pet, the only difference is that something happened in their life that resulted in them needing to be rescued. And while it’s true that some cats and dogs in shelters have suffered abuse or neglect, many others are pets that were surrendered because a family was moving, their caregiver passed away, or the family felt they were no longer able to care for them. But regardless of how or why an animal ended up in a shelter, they all have one thing in common: they need a home. Here's 4 ways you can take action against pet homelessness today:
1. The best way to keep animal populations down is to spay and neuter all of your animals. Encourage friends and family to do so as well! Friends of Animals runs a national low-cost spay and neuter certificate program designed to help you spay and neuter all your pets as efficiently as possible. Learn more by visiting our website here and checking to see if we have participating vets in your area! If you have already spayed or neutered your cat or dog, please consider making a donation to our program to assist other petowners!
2. Organizations rely heavily on volunteers to assist with animal care and day-to-day operations. There’s never a shortage of things to do and opportunities are available for people of every skill set. Hands-on tasks can include taking dogs for a walk or run, helping with feeding and cleanup or working with shy animals who need a bit of extra help in the socialization department. If your preference is helping out behind the scenes, you can volunteer your services by assisting with fundraisers, outreach events or general office tasks. Get the entire family involved! Volunteering is a great way to help children learn about the importance of helping others.
3. Everyone loves a “feel good” story, especially when that story involves an animal. Perhaps some of the most heartfelt are those of animals who have had a rough start, but ended up with an incredible life after being adopted. But not every story needs a sad beginning or a heroic ending to make an impact. All stories help people see that shelter animals aren’t all “damaged” or “have something wrong with them,” which are two misconceptions people often associate with shelter pets. When people see stories about people enjoying life’s adventures with their adopted pet, it can inspire them to think about adopting a pet of their own. Some adopters have even published books featuring their furry companion, or taken their adopted pets on epic road trips to help promote pet adoption. Have a story to share? Send it to us to be featured in our weekly posts! Email firstname.lastname@example.org
4. Fostering a cat or dog is always a great option if you are unable to commit to a foreverfriend. It’s a fantastic opportunity to see how your current pet or pets might react to a new member of the family. Also, if finances are an issue the rescue pays for all the medical expenses of your foster pet and often food and supplies for their foster animals, so you wouldn’t incur any financial responsibilities. If you go on vacation, the rescue will help find a pet sitter or move the pet into a new foster home. It really is a great option for those who aren’t sure they could handle the obligations of permanent pet parenting.