Why Animals Are Surrendered
Each year, more than six to eight million animals wind up in animal shelters across the country. In many cases, this sad event can be avoided. In some parts of the country, the reason is due to overpopulation. In other areas, animals are surrendered primarily due to behavior issues. Both of these situations can be remedied. Financial issues, medical issues, death of an owner, pets getting lost--these are also reasons why animals wind up in shelters, but the first two scenarios are the most common.
If you own a pet, be sure to have it spayed or neutered. One fertile cat can have as many as three litters of four to six kittens each year. Over the next seven years, she and her offspring can theoretically produce 420,000 kittens--and only one in 12 of these kittens will find a loving home. A spayed or neutered pet is just as happy and content as one who is not, and they are often at less risk for a range of health issues. Talk to your vet to learn more.
If financial issues have kept you from getting your pet spayed or neutered, talk to your local shelter. Many shelters today now offer free or no-cost spay and neuter programs to families who qualify.
When animals are surrendered due to behavior issues, there is usually an underlying cause. Sometimes, the right match was not made when the pet was adopted. Other times, the guardian may not have spent enough time working with the pet on training and building a bond. If you are considering adopting a pet, be sure to learn all you can about the characteristics of a particular breed before making that animal one of your family. Think about your lifestyle and the amount of time you will have to spend with a pet. Talk with a shelter adoption counselor or your vet beforehand to get a good idea about what your proposed pet’s needs will be. A good relationship with your animal companion takes time, commitment and effort. If you are willing to invest those, you will reap rewards to last a lifetime. Make sure your relationship is one that lasts, and do your homework before adopting.
What is this bond between our pets and ourselves? Why do we experience such a profound loss when they leave us? Could it be that our companions have something we humans don't have?
I say emphatically, yes they do! Our companions have an angelic, pure goodness that no other living being possesses. What is this goodness that once experienced we cannot live without? It is pure joy that comes from their unconditional love, devotion, gentleness, dedication, forgiveness, loyalty, and compassion that all humans desire. Is it any wonder that we feel such overwhelming devastation from the passing of our companions?
How You Can Help Shelters
Most shelters are in constant need of the following assistance. If you can help in these areas, it will be greatly appreciated:
Food--dry food and canned, for dogs, cats, puppies, kittens, and other animals. Check with shelters beforehand to see which brands are preferred
Kitty litter (check for preferred brands)
Litter boxes (check for preferred type)
Leashes and collars
Cleaning supplies (check for preferred brands)
Gift cards to stores such as Petco and Walmart
Toys (check for any banned items such as rawhide bones)
Many shelters print wish lists on their websites.
Shelter run on volunteers, and many have training programs to teach you how to safely and comfortably work with animals. Typically, most shelters use volunteers to:
Help feed animals and clean cages
Foster puppies and kittens
Help with administrative tasks
Help with events
Help with fundraising
Assist with socializing and training animals in some cases
Call your shelter today to ask about their volunteer program. It will be some of the most rewarding time you will ever spend!
Recommended Books from our Animal Welfare Library
Our pets are members of our family. Their devotion is beyond description. They bring the joy of living to us each day. We grieve deeply when they leave us. It is our responsibility to do the best we can to care for them, that is why I am sharing these books with you
The Bond, Our Kinship with Animals. Our Call to Defend Them by Wayne Pacelle, President & CEO of the Humane Society of the U.S.
Kindred Spirits, by Allen M. Schoen DVM
Animal Angels by Stephanie Laland (Purchase on amazon books for less)
Peaceful Kingdom - Random Acts of Kindness by Animals by Stephanie Laland
Cat Stories by James Harriot (Plus) Dewey A small town library cat by Vicki Myron
Homer's Odyssey, A fearless Feline Tale, or How I learned about Love and Life with a blind cat by Gwen Cooper
Are You Poisoning Your Pet by Nina Anderson
Shock to the System, the facts about animal vaccinations, pet food and how to keep your pets healthy by Catherine O'Driscoll
Food Pets Die For, Shocking facts about Pet Food by Ann N. Martin
The Ten Trusts - What we must do to Care for Animal Welfare by Bernie Graham
Creature Comfort - Animals That Heal by Bernie Graham
Complete Guide to Natural Health for Dogs & Cats by Richard Pitcairn, DVM
It's Me or the Dog. How to Have the Perfect Pet by Victoria Stilwell (A Primer for dog training)
The Complete Handbook of Dog Training by Thomas A Knott
A Rare Breed of Love. The True Story of Baby and the Mission She inspired to help dogs everywhere, by Jana Kohl, PsyD.
Pets in America - A history by Katherine C. Grier
In Your Face - from actor to activist, by Chris De Rose
Why we Love Dogs - Eat Pigs and Wear Cows An introduction to Carnism by Melanie Joy Phd. World Speaker for Animal Welfare
Farm Sanctuary, Changing Hearts and Minds about Animal and Foods by Gene Baur
The best resource book for information on organizations around the world for Animal Welfare, Animal Laws, Animal Rights, and Vegetarian and Vegan lifestyle publications for educational purposes.
Animal Manifesto by Marc Bekoff
Animal Liberation by Peter Singer
Animal Factory by David Kirby
The China Study by T. Colin Campbell, Ph.D. and Thomas M. Campbell, II
Salt Sugar Fat: How the Food Giants Hooked Us by Michael Moss
Mad Cowboy - Plain Truth from the Cattle Rancher Who Won't Eat Meat by Howard Lyman
Find out why, by reading this book.
Many of these books are in your local library or can be purchased used on Amazon.
Vegetarian to Vegan
Whether you have chosen to become a vegetarian because of your passion for Animal Welfare or your passion to be healthy, or both, your choice is the right one for the health of the Planet. Each of us has a great deal of influence in our circle of friends and acquaintances. Shouldn't we use this influence to encourage others to begin looking at a vegetarian or vegan Life Style for the wellbeing of animals, as well as the wellbeing of our own health? We know that Factory Farms and the Dairy Industry has increased the cruelty toward animals as well as compromised our food with toxins.
Let us pass on this information so that others will be able to decide whether they want to improve their own health and the welfare of animals by gradually becoming Vegetarian. Being a Vegetarian means, you don't eat our animal friends.