Animal shelters receive over 6 million homeless animals into their fold each year. A big chunk of this population are stray animals and relinquished pets. Yet, despite these alarming data, animal homelessness ranks poorly in the long list of public concerns.
The on-going global pandemic has made it even harder for all homeless animals to get the kind of support they need. With a good number of businesses shutting down and people losing jobs, how in these momentary struggles can we put a spotlight on these poor animals?
Fortunately, there are animal shelters and rescue groups that tirelessly works towards the protection and care of unwanted animals. They are the defenders of our furry friends who are needlessly suffering from hunger, sickness, abuse, and deprivation. While these groups strive to protect their wards and help curtail homelessness through various programs and services, the problem at hand is just too big a task. And the threat of overcrowding adds up to their concerns.
As a homeowner and member of a community, you can help cut overcrowding in animal shelters. When everyone from all sectors pitches in, a solution to this problem won’t be too far in the horizon.
So how can you help out?
According to the founder of a leading animal welfare group, the reason for overcrowding in animal shelters are preventable. Humans, pet parents, in particular, have had a hand in overpopulating these shelters. For sheer lack of accountability, owners have been giving up their pets to animal shelters. If only pet owners realize the importance of being accountable, they can prevent this troubling scenario from happening.
As a pet parent, you can act responsibly by providing your pet with a safe home, nutritious food, preventive care, and nurturing. Owning and caring for a pet is a serious commitment. Relinquishing a pet without exhausting all possible means to keep it is unfair. Remember, a pet is for keeps. You cannot just give it up on a whim.
Reach out and share
Beyond the confines of your home, you can help animal shelters by extending funding support in any way you can. Some countless groups and agencies accept donations for spay and neuter programs. Sharing any amount will help sustain these programs and even help boost yearly campaign targets. Spaying and neutering is an effective way of countering overpopulation. If done without delay, there will be fewer unwanted animals born into a life of abuse and neglect.
While providing monetary support is noble, sharing your time can be truly rewarding. Try volunteering as a pet foster parent. Search the web for animal shelters or rescue groups that operate in your community and reach out to them. They will ask you to fill out an application form and may conduct an interview, training, or house visit. Be prepared to answer questions about your home setup, children, existing pets, and other inquiries that will help them assess your qualifications.
As you spend more time caring for your foster pet, don’t be surprised if you have a change of heart. You may want to keep your pet forever. After all, it could be that the two of you were the perfect match. Transitioning from fostering to adoption is an available option. You have to comply with the policies set by the animal shelter.
Adopting a pet will help free up “room” in animal shelters. As you welcome a homeless animal and share your home forever, another is spared from death (by euthanasia) or a harsh life in the streets. What could be more rewarding than saving two precious lives with a single act of kindness? Reach out and be generous.
Educate and inspire
You can help enlighten family, friends, and other members of your community about the sad plight of unwanted animals. The knowledge and understanding of what goes on in animal shelters and the issues that confront them can spark a sincere desire to help.
Education opens minds and presents an opportunity to change misdirected values into something positive and beneficial. You can help turn animal cruelty and indifference into compassion and helpfulness.
Social media is a powerful and ready tool for sharing knowledge and insights on how to support animal shelters. Be a social media influencer. Motivate readers to take action through your inspiring words.
Animal homelessness is a growing issue that deserves global attention. Animal shelters, though faced with overcrowding, are doing their best to address it. But you too can pitch in and help. Are you up to it?