Time to Make A Difference. Whether the weather in your part of the world is blazing hot or freezing cold, you can MAD. Would you trade a little responsibility for years of companionship, chances to network with others, entertainment and unconditional love? Have I got a deal for you!
Are you a pet lover?
There are nearly this many American animal shelters.
Dogs and cats are put into shelters every year. The average shelter handles over 1,300 animals a year. Many have fewer than 30 holding pens and kennels.
1 in 4
Puppy mills turn out pure breed dogs for a hefty fee. Those dogs, from puppy to adult, comprise 25% of shelter populations. A purebred dog from shelter is free or carries a nominal adoption fee, while the puppy mill responsible for its breeding will charge $1,000 or more for the dog.
Of all the pets in the United States, only around 15% of dogs and cats are adopted from shelters (more for dogs).
Animals will be euthanized this year. Just like last year. And next year.
Of all the animals killed in shelters, one-third are dams with nursing babies.
Why are pets so much better than human companions? They do not care about any of these:
- Your physical capabilities or handicaps
- Your appearance or whether your clothes match
- Your age or if you act it
- What you do for a living
- What you drive
Are you single? No, not bestiality. Get out of the gutter. Dog parks. When you walk your dog in a park, you meet other (single) owners. You meet people with a similar love for dogs or a specific breed. You can pick up tips and tricks which make owning your pet easier.
Making friends through your pet is very similar to meeting the parents of your children’s friends. Most people consider their pets as on par with their children in terms of their placement in the family…some even like their pets better than their teenagers…but that is another post.
Do you like adventure? Shy adrenaline rushes, like skydiving, pets love adventure, too. Dogs love to swim. Take your dog camping with you. Guess who is not going to complain about the lack of amenities or the mosquitoes.
Do you have children? Children raised with pets are more socially well-rounded. They learn the responsibility of caring for another entity and sharing and are more empathetic to their friends. Disabled children (and adults, too) gain many benefits from the unconditional love of an animal. A dog or cat could not care less if the child is physically or mentally handicapped.
Make a Difference
1. Go to a shelter and look at all the animals. Is there one which draws your attention? No? Go to another shelter or come back on another day. Visit “kill shelters” first. The animals there are on death row.
2. Take a few minutes to speak to an adoption counselor. Talk about the space you have and the members of your household to help you choose an animal or a breed which is right for your situation.
3. Be realistic. You need to have the time and heart to invest in a relationship, the energy to put forth the effort to care for the animal and the income to provide a healthy environment, including veterinary care.
4. Take advantage of vaccinations, deworming, spay or neuter services offered at the shelter. Help control the pet population by being sure your adoptee will not be reproducing animals for which will end up at a shelter.
5. Save a life. Enjoy your new companion. Pets are a wonderful addition to a household.
6. If adoption is not a choice for you, donate pet food, gift certificates to feed stores or money to a shelter.
You DO Make a Difference.
Join the rising number of people who are putting an end to puppy mills and cat breeders by adopting an animal slated for death because its owner died, someone could/would no longer care for it, it grew up bigger than the adorable puppy/kitten someone brought home or it was born because no one had sense enough to spay or neuter its parents.
Learn about the breed you are adopting. Find out how their personality fits in with your schedule, home and family.
Adopting a pet is a great experience. You can MAD in an animal’s life today.
Have you ever adopted a pet? Would you consider adopting an adult animal? Is there a no kill shelter in your area?
(c) Ann Marie Dwyer 2012
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