Thursday, July 26, 2007

Help for Stray Animals in the US

Every day in the United States 70,000 stray and unwanted dogs and cats are born. This alarming number comes straight from the Human Society. In Detroit, Michigan the problem is so bad that packs of wild dogs run unchecked among abandoned buildings. This is true in most large cities and despite the shocking numbers, only 20 states have laws requiring sterilization of such animals.

Shelters all across the country are overwhelmed, even though they euthanize regularly. Euthanization is considered cruel by many private citizens and they have banned together to form no kill shelters. Even that is not enough. They are also overwhelmed and have trouble finding homes for the animals. It takes manpower, money, and proper facilities to successfully run a shelter. Even the most kind hearted of rescuers eventually run face first into these obstacles.

One such group is FLOCK (for the love of cats and kittens). They operate a cat and kitten sanctuary in Pahrump, NV. Their president recently resigned, she says, leaving the 400 animals in good condition. Six weeks later, Nye county called in the help of an animal rights group to investigate charges of neglect.
The answer to animal overpopulation is difficult to implement but relatively simple in concept. Pets must be spayed and neutered. Strays must be spayed when taken in by shelters and adopted out. Pet owners must be responsible when making reproductive decisions for their animals. If you are not a licenced breeder then you animal does not need to reproduce. Kittens and puppies are no doubt some of the cutest animals on the planet but that alone is no reason to let you cat give birth. There are so many animal waiting for homes, wandering our streets, starving and needing care. If you want a pet, please go to a shelter and adopt or rescue a stray that comes across your path.

The efforts of tireless shelter and rescue organizations should be commended. The Internet has made it even easier to adopt with some private no-kill shelters advertising for long distance adoptions.

One such organization is Hearts United For Animals, http://www.hua.org/Tias-Place.html. They encourage long distance adoption if safe flights are scheduled and there is a volunteer in your area to do a home inspection. Many of their dogs have been rescued from abusive situations and HUA takes extra measures to insure they will not suffer in their new homes. You can also become an animal buddy by giving a donation to a specific resident of HUA. Buddies help to defray the cost of care until a permanent home can be found.

FurKids, http://www.furkids.org/, is an organization for cats based in Atlanta, GA. There are many like them all over the country. They foster cats and kittens until homes can be found. Their animals are shown for adoption at the local PetSmart stores. They accept donations and fund programs for public awareness about solutions to animal overpopulation.

We can each do our part by being compassionate to animals and open to solutions on their behalf. Take in a stray or deliver it to a reputable shelter or veterinarian's office. Report animal abuse and neglect. Care responsibly for the pets you own. Above all give them lots of love. I think most spiritual leaders would agree that the golden rule applies to ALL the creatures of the planet.

4 comments:

~Deb said...

It's sad to see so many strays. We have a stray cat of our own, but I'm so allergic to any animal, that I can only feed her and give her water. She goes from house to house and a woman takes her in once in a while. The animal hospital and cat rescues tell me that there is way too much cats for them to take in.

Sad.

Lisa McGlaun said...

Thanks for the comment, Deb. Shelters are overrun with animals so I know what your are saying is true. All you can do is try.

Badthing1 said...

You are a beautiful person, Lisa.

Lisa McGlaun said...

Thanks badthing. It's an issue I care about.