Thursday, January 31, 2008

Second Chance Pet Adoption - Filling In The Gaps

I've only met a few people in my life who really didn't like animals. They don't care about animal issues. They've never had a pet and would be happier if they never had to deal with another barking dog or scratching cat. I don't understand them but then there is the opposite extreme, the people who treat their pets better than their children or elderly family members. Neither fringe is understandable, at least to me. Most of us fall somewhere in the middle of this equation.

If you are like me, then you ache when you see a homeless animal wandering the city. You put out bowls of food for the strays in your neighborhood. You take care of the helpless ones until a permanent home can be found. You care as much as you can without totally disrupting the lives of the other people who live in your house. That's me..do you recognize a little of yourself?

If you'd like to participate in organized efforts to help stray and homeless pets and network with others who feel this calling, just type "second chance pets" into your search engine. You'll find several results for a Second Chance pet-rescue group near you. Here are just a few I found - Second Chance Pet Adoptions, Second Chance Elk Grove, IL, Second Chance California, and 2nd Chance 4 Pets.

These organizations, with the help of volunteers, work with abandoned dogs and cats, providing foster homes for them, lobbying vets to give reduced rates on care and medications, and ultimately trying to find permanent homes.

Anything you can do to help this cause is appreciated. Even if you can't be a foster family for an animal you can donate money to a Second Chance organization or no-kill pet shelter in your area. You can offer your skills in possibly web design, advertising, or public relations. Whatever your special skill, there is usually a way to adapt it to help a worthy cause. You can volunteer to drive rescued animals to veterinary appointments or to meetings with prospective owners.
I think I'd like to volunteer at a shelter to take the little guys for walks or to sit and pet them for a while, just to reintroduce them to a loving hand before they move into a stable home.

Here are some statistics from Animal Network World about the plight of abandoned pets in the United States:

-More than 12 million dogs and cats are euthanized in shelters each year.

- Millions more are abandoned in rural and urban areas.

- As many as 25% of dogs entering shelters each year are purebreds.

- Approximately 61% of all dogs entering shelters are killed.

- Approximately 75% of all cats entering shelters are killed.

- It costs approximately $100 to capture, house, feed, and eventually kill each stray animal -- a cost which you, the taxpayer, eventually pay.

In addition to volunteering your time to rescue organization, please have your pets spayed and neutered, encourage your friends who own pets to do the same. That one action, along with your compassion and empathy, will help to solve this crisis.

8 comments:

Vienne said...

Lisa, you have opened one of my flood gates. I am a life-long animal lover and although I'm not a "cat lady" (yet), I adore my pets. I adopted two cats from two kill shelters before the holidays. Luckily, the boys get along very well. One is a Maine Coon, my favorite breed, and the other a Turkish Angora. Moby and Black Magic. Moby had only 2 days left before going to the green room, never to wake up.

Did you have childhood pets? I had two wonderful dogs and a smattering of other animals. I think it's so important to encourage love and respect for animals in children. It did wonders for me.

Lisa McGlaun said...

Oh Vienne,

Every animal I've ever had has been rescued or found. When I was young my family had a daushound mix and various cats that stayed outside. Through out my adult life I've always had at least one dog and one cat if not more.

Right now we have one dog, an Australian Red Heeler, and two cats.

Thanks for the comment. You know I love you and your blogs!

Lisa

Bob Johnson said...

Very sad stats, I love animals, thanks for the links.

Lisa McGlaun said...

Bob,

You're welcome. I don't think any of the links I picked out are in Canada but I'm sure you can find a place to volunteer if you search "Second Chance Pets" like I did.

Peace,
Lisa

Gina Stepp said...

Lisa, thanks for the focus on this important topic. There are so many good reasons for people to consider this kind of community service. Not just because the animals need it, but it's good for people too. I've been doing some research on this subject--lots of mental and physical health gains for people who have good relationships with animals.

Lisa McGlaun said...

Gina,

The relationship between animal and man is so important to our well being. It relaxes me to have my cat curl up in my lap and I remember caring for him when he was a tiny kitten. He came to me malnourished and injured so I nursed him back to health. We have a very tight bond.

Vienne mentioned how owning a pet when you are young encourages love and repsect for animals. I so agree. I think that's why I feel the way I do. There have always been animals in my life. I don't know how to live without them.

Thanks for commenting,
Lisa

Mike said...

Hi Lisa :) I love animals. I am glade you mention animals. A lot will be saved just by you talking about them.
I go to the game farm out here on Long Island each year and feed all the animals. They even have a camel and giraffe there.

Lisa McGlaun said...

Mike,

Wow, I didn't know they had a game farm on Long Island. Thanks to you I've learned something new. I think that's great that you go feed the animals.

When I lived in the South there was horses in a pasture not far from my house. I'd take my little boy other and feed them through the fence. I miss that.

Peace,
Lisa