Wednesday, May 22, 2013
Now that it's getting warmer outside, many people consider and long for summer fun with a pet. From taking your dog on a walk around your neighborhood to going to/playing at dog parks, beaches, sprinklers, camping, baseball games, 4th of July activities, and your own family pool -- there is often summer fun that only a furry family member can fulfill. I am certainly an animal lover, and if you have not yet had the opportunity to enjoy some of the great fun (and love) a pet has to offer, I suggest you do so!
If you are thinking about getting a pet, summer is a perfect time for the whole family to adopt an animal. Where to start when adding a new member to the family?
Some important things to consider (especially if you have children) are age, size, and breed. Be sure to do your research on all of these things. The most important choice you can make, however, is the decision to rescue your new best friend, instead of purchasing him or her from a pet store.
Making the decision to rescue a pet is a fail-proof way to bring yourself (and your family or loved ones) a great deal of joy while living cruelty free. There are many different ways to rescue a pet, but one easy way to start is through a local animal shelter. There are dozens of abandoned animals in your local pet shelter just waiting for a family to take him or her home. Just one walk through at one of these shelters will give any animal lover chills. One great (national) place I am happy to mention here is Petsmart Adoptions.
Since 1994, Petsmart alone has saved close to 5,500,000 pets' lives! Props and applauds to all who have contributed to these efforts! Unfortunately, there are still many pets who need to be rescued right now. In fact, due to the overpopulation of homeless animals, 4 million pets are euthanized annually. If you break it down, that makes for 11,000 pets that are euthanized each day. Aren't these statistics alone enough to make you want to rescue a pet now -- especially if you were considering buying one?! Many Petsmart pets are purebred, so even if you have your heart set on a particular breed, Petsmart may very likely be able to help you find your next furry family member.
Where do most unwanted animals come from?
According to a recent study done by the National Council on Pet Population Study and Policy (NCPPSP), Petfinder offers us the top ten reasons both cats and dogs are abandoned in the United States.
Top 10 Reasons Dogs Are Abandoned:
1) Moving (7%)
2) Landlord doesn't allow pet (6%)
3) Cost of pet maintenance (5%)
4) Too many animals in household (4%)
5) Owner having personal problems (4%)
6) Inadequate facilities (4%)
7) Having no time for pet (4%)
8) Pet Illness(es) (4%)
9) No homes available for litter mates (3%)
10) Biting (3%)
Cat lover instead? Here are the stats you should be checking out...
Top Ten Reasons Cats Are Abandoned:
1) Too many animals in household (11%)
2) Moving (8%)
3) Allergies in families (8%)
4) Landlord not allowing pets (6%)
5) Cost of pet maintenance (6%)
6) No homes available for litter mates (6%)
7) House soiling (5%)
8) Owner having personal problems (4%)
9) Inadequate facilities (2%)
10) Incompatibility with other pets (2%)
Almost half of both dogs and cats abandoned had been owned for only 7 months to 1 year before being kicked to the curb. For reasons and of no fault of their own, these animals are simply kicked out of what they thought was their homes. It is humans who decide to take these animals in. It is, then, those same humans who decide to get rid of these animals who have (almost always) done nothing to deserve it. Those animals who have behaved poorly in reasons listed above (biting, soiling, etc.) can surely have behavioral alterations through training. Animals need to be trained to live in a home, they do not know how to do such automatically. It is us humans who are supposed to provide the training if we opt to get a pet. We are supposed to provide love and care to the pet, just as we would for any other member of the family. We are supposed to provide veterinary visits and everything else that having a pet and keeping it safe and healthy entails. It is unfair for any animal to be left uncared for, untreated, and abandoned.
We cannot control what other humans do. We can, however, help to reverse others' abusive actions by beginning to do our part to make sure this world is cruelty free. For example...
Upcoming summer fun is not the only reason to do your part now. The violent weather in the Oklahoma area this week has caused many pets to be separated from their families, obviously due to no fault of the family. There are ways to not only rescue pets, but also to simply donate to different causes that will help get these animals back to their proper owners and homes. Here are some other great sites with information about protecting pets by rescuing/saving them:
I Love Rescue Animals
Animal Rescue, Inc.
Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals
Staying cruelty free,