Friday, July 9, 2010

The Case for Shelter Animals

If you really want to understand the importance of neutering and spaying your pets, just take a field trip to your local Animal Shelter. These pets have been abandoned or given up for an assortment of different reasons, but they all share the same problem: space and money. According to The Humane Society of the Unites States, about half of all shelter animals are euthanized to make room for more and more abandoned pets and strays that come in on a daily basis.

I got to experience this first hand today when I went to visit my (new) local animal shelter. It was a chilling experience. Rows of cages contained cats who mewed and cried for just a little affection. In one cage a mother seemed to worry about her two new kittens. In another cage, one blocked by the open door of the room, a wheat-colored cat rubbed itself madly back and forth against the bars, pleading for someone to close the door and notice him... I found an orange and black stray female that was very curious and vocal, and I would have taken her home had I not broken out in a rash after holding her. It was heartbreaking to have to leave her behind.

Another great reason to adopt a shelter pet instead of buying from a store or breeder is simply the cost difference. Adopting from a shelter will normally cost under $50, and will include shots and neuter/spaying. Compare that to the prices of your local pet shop!

Another point I want to emphasize is the importance of spaying and neutering your pets. A family friend grew up on a farm and told me the story of when the barn cat had a litter of kittens. They couldn't keep them, so as soon as they were born his father drowned them. Need I say more about that?

Of course, euthanisizing the poor animals is much more humane, but no less tragic. So, please, if you're thinking of expanding your family to include any sort of animal, from dogs and cats to rabbits or snakes, call your local animal shelter or rescue or visit websites like ASPCA to find resources on pet adoption and care

Remember, too, that bringing an animal into your home is above all a responsibilty. It's similar to adopting a child in the sense that
you'll have to feed it, pay for its medical care, care for it, and above all, love it with all your heart. This creature will be part of your family, not a distraction for the kids or an ornament for your living room - it is a living breathing animal.

Finally, remember to spay and neuter your pets. Pet overpopulation is a serious problem and is the reason so many pets have to be put down each year. It is irresponsible not to. If you're still not convinced, think of it this way: pretend the pet is a teenager who might get pregnant if he or she isn't given the option of birth control (abstinence, condoms, the pill, whatever). Wouldn't you rather prevent that mess than have to deal with the consequences once it's too late?

Let's review: Adopt shelter pets, neuter/spay them, love them to death


Nostalgically Yours

No comments:

Post a Comment

What do you think?