Do you know that, with just a brief amount of research, it is estimated there are 320,706 homeless pets across America in some 13,159 adoption shelters. Can you just imagine what the real numbers would be if we can account for all the known shelters? Statistics can reveal such information as: why animals are relinquished, what kind of animals are relinquished, return-to-owner ratios, euthanasia rates, etc. These numbers can help us to focus on programs, education and even heighten awareness in the community.
It is difficult for us to be sure the numbers decrease drastically unless we can all do our part. Most of you that are reading this obviously have pets and must love them as you would a family member. As responsible pet owners, we try to take all the advice of our Vet, getting all the proper immunizations, feeding them with great nutritional foods, and, of course, spaying and neutering so that we do not bring any possible unwanted pets into this world.
The thing is, even though we do our part, there are so many pets out there that need homes. We surely can’t be everywhere to guarantee that dogs and cats are not left homeless, becoming another statistic. What we can do is donate time, money, foods and other pet supplies to your nearby shelter, not to mention, adopt one of their deserving residents and give them a well deserved home. Fund raising efforts and/or fostering pets until they can get a good permanent home is another great way to help.
A lot of animals are in shelters not only due to being homeless on the streets. There are many situations where we might be able to help when it comes to the economy and other living situations that put a strain on us. Sometimes a family is forced into a move and can’t take their pets with them; someone passes on, or a story I have heard recently, a family was killed leaving behind 3 close knit dogs, and what happens with them?
There is a Humane Society country wide that does all it can to help all of God’s creatures but they cannot do it all without our help. When we adopt pets from shelters we are saving lives and they leave healthy, vaccinated, spayed or neutered, which all very important to a healthy happy loving pet.
Problem is that the economy does create more strains on folks who do love and care for their pets, such as; where do they get the funds for proper vaccination needs or get the pet spayed or neutered? It is all so necessary but a big expense none-the-less.
If you are a pet owner who has to make a difficult decision about your pets and their Vet and medical needs, there are a few resources that you can investigate to do what is best for you and your family. The first thing you may want to do is talk with your Vet. Most times they will work with you as their concerns are in the best interest of your pet. If there is a situation that is necessary for your pet which would create a large bill, payment plans can be worked out.
Some specific breed organizations may offer vet assistance funds. There is also an organization called the American Animal Hospital Association, www.aahahelpingpets.org, where you can actually apply for financial assistance in caring for your pet. They are very backed up because of all the requests they get, but it is worth a try if you are in need.
A couple of other organizations that can help are first, www.thepetfund.com, if you may need help with vet bills and the second, www.imom.org so that you never have to face the difficult decision of euthanasia due to their financial woes.
When your pet is due for vaccinations, ask to see the nurse, saving on the actual office visit, only paying for the shots themselves. Another option for shots is to check with other local animal control offices who may offer free or low cost shots. Places such as Pet Co and Pets Mart sometimes offer shots. Inquire if and when they do. Don’t forget the SPCA, Humane Society and other rescue groups. Sometimes they do offer free or reduced services.
Sometimes there are certain discounts especially for seniors. If you are in a real bind, another resource is www.carecredit.com that may be the answer. Their plan offers assistance, interest free if paid within 18 months or a lower interest rate if paid within 60 months.
At least there are options out there for all of us to give our pets the best possible care. We do try with all our might to help the more unfortunate pets who are seeking to find loving families and the best we can do is donate what we can to help (time, money or other), do our part not to over populate, and take advantage of all the resources available to us so that we can care for our own beloved pets and not have to add to the already crowded shelters.