How Animal Lovers Can Save the Strays

After the GoDaddy Superbowl commercial controversy, I thought I would share some information about rescue and adoption of animals! We love our rescue pets!

Every year in the United States, more than 7.6 million cats and dogs are turned into shelters, two-thirds of which are recognized as stray or feral. According to the ASPCA, 2.7 million of these animals are euthanized. Unfortunately, no-kill shelters around the country are simply filled to capacity, and state- and city-run pounds and humane societies cannot afford to keep every animal that comes through the door. Still, death is a harsh punishment for animals only striving to stay alive.

Regular people have the power and resources to help stray and feral animals in any community around
the country. Countless furry lives can be saved if animal lovers act in any of the following ways.

1. Adopt

The most fulfilling way to help an animal in need is to welcome one into your home, which also happens to be one of the most beneficial actions. Not only do pet adoptions directly prevent those animals from being euthanized, but they guarantee the acquisition of a healthy pet. Pet stores and breeders often engage in questionable practices that create sick and malformed animals that require extra care. By adopting from a shelter, you know your animal has had excellent care, and you aren’t supporting the terrible practices of other pet purveyors.

Of course, not everyone is cut out to be a pet owner. According to Bankrate, keeping a cat happy and healthy year-round can cost as much as $700, while doing the same for a dog will run around $900 every year. Besides financial stability, owners must be responsible enough to devote time to their pets by playing, walking, and cleaning them. Those who cannot make this commitment at this time should
consider other forms of helping stray animals.

2. Donate to Particular Organizations

Shelters and pounds will eagerly take any donation you are willing to give — as long as it is related to pet care. Animal food, toys, cleaning products, and money are welcome, but not every beneficent animal lover has these items to spare.

Still, those looking to pare down their other belongings can find alternative charities that support a wide range of good causes, including animals. For example, some charities gladly accept large items, like boats, cars, and kitchen appliances that they can fix up and sell; the proceeds of these auctions go to a wide range of charities that are desperate for financial support, like many animal shelters. Thus, animal lovers can give aid to the pets who need help while liberating their homes of junk at the same time.

3. Volunteer at Shelters

Those who lack physical items to give can still donate their time. Shelters often lack the staff to
fully care for each individual need of all their furry tenants, which means that certain duties
aren’t performed as frequently as is ideal.

Volunteers are welcomed at most shelters to help clean, feed, walk, and play with animals. Some shelters have an age requirement of 16 for volunteers due to the size and possible danger of working with animals, and some also ask for a commitment of six months or more to effectively train new volunteers and familiarize them with the animals.

4. Become an Advocate

Though it may feel that one person can have but little impact on the world, the truth is that the first steps of social change lie in individual actions. Injustice to animals occurs daily in aspects of life many people don’t even consider, and by becoming an advocate, an animal lover has the power to educate the public on animal rights. Here are the ways many animal advocates work to stop animal wrongs:

 Eating a vegetarian or vegan diet.
 Avoiding animal skins and furs for clothing.
 Knowing which companies use animal testing.
 Being respectful to all animals, domesticated and wild.
 Speaking civilly when protesting.

PETA, the well-known organization that campaigns around-the-clock for animal equality, has published an exhaustive explanation of how to become an advocate and truly effect change.

5. Clean Your Community

Many people recognize the impact that litter has on the wildlife in their areas, but that same litter is detrimental to the well-being of stray animals as well. Dogs and cats can become entangled in plastic waste, preventing them from efficient movement and causing deadly infections. Plus, ample research has shown that a clean community benefits humans as well in a variety of ways, including lowering crime, creating cleaner air, and fostering pride. Thus, properly disposing of one’s waste is crucial to promoting health and safety of all animals.

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