Do Your Part to Help
According to the American Humane Association, approximately 3.7 million animals are euthanized each year at shelters because there are not enough homes to adopt them.
Animals end up in shelters because they are either lost or no longer wanted by owners. There are many things you can do to reduce the numbers of homeless animals in shelters.
Always Spay & Neuter Your Animals
Spaying and neutering is the surgical procedure performed by a veterinarian to cause an animal incapable of reproducing. By spaying and neutering your animals you make sure you are not contributing to the overpopulation of animals that could eventually end up in shelters. Both surgical procedures can be performed on animals as early as 8 weeks of age.
Spaying and neutering also provides many health benefits to animals. Spaying females before their first heat cycle greatly reduces the risk of breast cancer and totally prevents uterine infections and uterine cancer. Neutering males prevents testicular cancer and enlargement of the prostate gland and significantly reduces their risk for perianal tumors.
Neutering of male dogs and cats can prevent certain undesirable behaviors, such as urine marking, humping, male aggression and the urge to roam. For cats, spaying can reduce the constant crying and nervous behavior of a female in heat. Spaying a female pet also eliminates the messiness associated with the heat cycle. Pets that are spayed and neutered generally get along better with other pets in a household. Preventing undesirable behavior will in turn help end homelessness because some pet owners will relinquish ownership of their animals to shelters because they cannot control what they consider to be bad behavior.
Pet Identification is a Must
According to Orange County Animal Care, the county’s shelter, less than 10% of the animals that are found on the streets of Orange County have any identification. Many people do not know to how look for their lost animals. An animal may not be at the shelter that services the area in which they live. Animals can roam far or inadvertently be taken out of their local area making it difficult for an owner to find their lost pet.
A simple collar and nametag with current ownership information will reunite a pet with his or her owner. In addition, microchipping your pets will greatly increase the chance that your pet will be returned to you. There are too many times that we hear someone say that they just took their pet’s collar off to give them a bath and forgot to immediately put it back on. That is when the pet slips out of a yard or the front door and cannot be identified. A microchip will ensure that your pet has identification at all times and does not end up at the shelter.
Don’t Shop, Adopt
By adopting a shelter or rescue animal, you will help significantly cut down on the number of homeless pets in our shelters. You can find every purebred, mixed breed, color, or age of animal that you are looking for at a shelter. It is a misconception that shelters and rescues only have mixed breeds. The American Humane Society estimates that 25 percent of shelter dogs are purebreds. Please help end homelessness by adopting from your local shelters and rescues. And, if there is a particular breed that you are looking for and cannot find at your local shelter, there are many breed specific rescues you can find on the internet that have rescued animals waiting for a home.