Five Ways to Help Homeless Pets

Do you have a passion for helping animals?  Here are five ways you can help our homeless furry friends! According to the American Society for Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA), five to seven million homeless pets enter animal shelters in our country every year where four million are euthanized, or put to sleep.  Sadly, the majority of destroyed homeless pets were healthy or treatable and would have made excellent companions.  Unfortunately, there are more homeless pets than there are homes, which results in what is known as pet overpopulation.  According to AnimalKind.org, pet overpopulation is the leading killer of cats and dogs in our country.  The good news is that you don’t have to stand by and let it happen!  Follow these steps to help homeless pets.

1. Adopt a homeless animal from your local shelter or rescue group

According to the ASPCA, five out of 10 dogs and seven out of 10 cats in shelters are destroyed simply because there is no one to adopt them.  Why adopt from a shelter when you can shop from a store or breeder?  Well for starters, you save a life!  Adopting a shelter pup makes space for other homeless pets that are scheduled to be euthanized which means you are saving two lives at once- your new furry companion that would have eventually been destroyed and the pet that the adoption made room for.  Opt to adopt and save a life!  Also, shelter pets have already been fixed, microchipped, and vaccinated (store pets have not).  Shelter pets also cost a fraction of what breeders and pet stores charge.

2. Be a responsible pet owner and spay or neuter your pet

According to the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS), one cat or dog is euthanized every eight seconds in shelters across the nation.  Some are owner surrendered, others are strays picked up by animal control.  To prevent an accidental or unwanted litter from ending up at a shelter and ultimately put down, the best thing you can do is get your pet spayed or neutered.  This puts a stop to bringing more animals into an already overpopulated world.

3. Report animal cruelty

Animal cruelty is illegal in all 50 states and considered a felony in 46, according to the HSUS.  Be a voice for the voiceless.  The only way to stop animal cruelty the moment you recognize it is to report it to your local animal control agency or police department.  Details such as date, location, and description of people and animals involve are very important.  Pictures, even a cell phone camera photo, are very helpful as well.

4. Volunteer

Animal rescues are always in need of extra helping hands and there are several ways to get involved.  You can foster a pet which in turn keeps shelter space open for other incoming homeless pets.  You can help out at an offsite adoption where volunteers take shelter pets to public places such as a pet supplies store and try to find them good homes.  Shelters are also always needing adoption counselors to help potential adopters new homes.

5. Donate

You don’t have to be making big bucks to donate.  Although monetary donations are always needed and appreciated, shelters usually have a list of items they may need posted on their website.  These needed items include things like blankets, laundry detergent, or office supplies.  You could have a donation drive at your school which will shed some light on a the shelter and possibly result in an adoption! You never know!

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