ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

How to Help Shelter Animals

Updated on July 7, 2018

Shelters are Overburdened

Overpopulation and over breeding are significant and growing problems within US animal shelters. About 2.7 million healthy, adoptable dogs and cats are euthanized every year in the U.S. alone. Factors contributing to this are illegal Puppy Mills, backyard breeders, dog fighting, and owners refusing or being unable to spay and/or neuter their pets.

There are Animal Welfare organizations such as SPCA, the Humane Society, and PETA that take in strays. However, if these animals do not find a home quickly enough, and most don't, they are euthanized regardless of age. Approximately 55% of dogs and puppies entering shelters are killed, based on reports from 1,038 facilities across America.

Pet Surrenders are also a reason for unnecessary euthanasia of animals in shelters. Families frequently drop their dogs and cats off for various reasons; She's too old, she's too young, she barks too much, she has a medical condition, I can't take her with me to my new home, etc. It is important to remember that pets are family, not furniture. The majority of animals surrendered are euthanized, shelters are overcrowded and puppies, kittens and older, sicker animals are pouring in. More than likely the dog you could not keep because of the new baby was euthanized within 10 days of arrival.

Did You Know?

Approximately 55% of dogs and puppies entering shelters are killed, based on reports from 1,038 facilities across America.

Adopt, and what to expect when going to the shelter.

The first and best thing you can do to assist the shelters in your community is to visit and adopt a pet. Many people believe it is going to be a difficult process, and are apprehensive about adopting because they believe the animals will be sick, or aggressive, or a bad fit for the family. According to Humane Society statistics, 90% of animals in shelters are healthy and adoptable. Most are also already spayed/neutered, received all their shots and medication, and a medical/behavioral exam to make sure they are eligible for adoption.

You can usually expect a tour around the shelter to visit all the animals available, or one to your preference. Do not rush this process, its important you leave with a companion that you will be able to love and cherish forever.

Since the shelter already provides a pet that is completely ready to be adopted with no inconvenience to you there may be an adoption fee. It varies based on the shelter in your area, as well as the type of animal, weight, medical conditions, special needs, etc. This helps with the welfare of the animals as well as the expenses of running the shelter. There may also be a questionaire to fill out, the reason for this is to make sure you will be able to care for an animal, and to pair you with the right one.

If you can't afford to keep a dog permanently, the other solution is to foster an animal. Shelters will allow qualified applicants to foster an animal for several days, weeks, or months until an owner is found for them. By doing this, you help the cause by taking a financial burden off of the shelter for awhile and save a life by making room for other animals who come in off the streets or out of bad homes. If you have children this is a good way to teach them how to care for, and be responsible for a pet without having for very long.

Report Animal Neglect and Cruelty

Many are animals brought into facilities such as ASPCA or the Humane Society due to severe neglect, cruelty, and abandonment. Tooth decay, tumors, abandoned litters and skin problems such as Mange are all common forms of neglect. Also, starvation, dehydration and being left out on a chain with no other contact 24 hours a day, 7 days week IS neglect and needs to be reported.

Illegal activity such as Dog Fighting and Puppy Mills are also very serious contributions to the number of animals being euthanized in the United States. The Puppy Mill Hotline is 1-877-MILL-TIP. If you ever suspect these activities are going on in your area, you need to report it immediately. By doing so, you can save many, many lives. Call The Dog Fighting Hotline at 1-877-847-4787, try to give as much detail about the premises and conditions of the animals as possible. Do not try to handle the situation yourself as you do not know these people or what they are capable of. Dog fighting rings are usually very extensive and secretive, and by taking it to the authorities you may be able to stop the partner rings as well.

The greatness of a nation can be judged by the way its animals are treated.

— Mahatma Gandhi

Spay And Neuter Your Pets

The first step to no kill is no birth. In Houston, TX alone over 291 dogs and cats are euthanized every day. These are healthy, young animals that simply cannot find homes. Do your part and stop over breeding. Some places will provide you with service for free if you qualify or are currently on government aid/assistance. Spay Neuter Assistance Program provides discounted services such as spaying/neutering, chipping, shots, nail trimming, teeth cleaning, Interstate Health Certificates, and general wellness check ups. I have used them personally and would recommend them to anyone.

Microchipping

Micro chipping your pet is great way to ensure their safety if they are lost. Even if your pet is usually indoors, natural disasters can cause destruction where you live and possibly separate you from your beloved pet.

Chipping is very quick and has no more pain than a regular shot. It is about the size of a grain of rice, and implanted between the should blades. The chip cannot fall out or be removed and is placed just under the top layer of skin. There should also be a way to register your chip online, and a tag to attach to his collar that lets anyone who finds him know he is chipped and to take him to a vet and contact you.

By doing this, you prevent your pet from being adopted out to soemone else or be euthanized in a shelter.

Make a Donation

Most animal welfare organizations are non-profit, meaning the necessary tools and care needed to provide for shelters come soley from donations and volunteer work. By donating food, water, towels, medication, shampoo, sheets, beds, shavings for waste, cages, toys and other items you can actively improve the lives of the animals residing there. Obviously, you can make monetary donations at any time, forms of payment will vary facility to facility.

Never assume that your donation does not make a difference. In shelters that are overcrowded and under staffed, 5$ for a bag of food, a box of treats, or a single toy will make all the difference to one animal. Most of these things are cheap and take little to no effort to find and purchase.

The SPCA, Humane Society, and other organizations often have online stores that you can purchase from as well. They have a variety of products from clothing to jewelry, and a portion of the profits go to charities. I suggest donating directly to your local shelter if you are able, nourishment and hygiene items are always best, but if you only have 5$ here, 10$ there, it still makes a difference.

Volunteer

Lastly, volunteer! Volunteering isn't something that you get no reward from, you can use it as an extracurricular activity when you apply for college or use it as a reference on a job application. By volunteering you help animals and the organization alike. You don't have to go alone, invite your friends and family to come with you. This way you bring in more help and show your community the importance of helping other less fortunate beings, and attract potential adoptions. It's not all work, you can take as much time as you want to love on the animals and spend time with them.

Next time you find yourself sitting at home bored or need some personal references, stop by and see what you can do. You'll feel good about yourself and the animals will thank you. Both of my dogs are rescues and they have been the greatest pets you could ask for.

Would You Ever Consider Fostering or Adopting?

See results
Cast your vote for How to End Euthanasia of Animals In Shelters

© 2010 Clovis

Comments

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment
    • equinelover909 profile image

      equinelover909 

      11 years ago

      Inspiring and useful hub! thanks for the great read!

    • patdmania profile image

      patdmania 

      11 years ago from waterford, mi

      I always recommend you go to the humane society to buy a dog. Its sad that we have so many people buying from breeders while so many dogs are being put to sleep everyday. Good Hub!

    • Gypsy Willow profile image

      Gypsy Willow 

      11 years ago from Lake Tahoe Nevada USA , Wales UK and Taupo New Zealand

      Great hub, wish more people would visit shelters before buying fancy dogs. All mine have been wonderful adoptees!

    working

    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, hubpages.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://corp.maven.io/privacy-policy

    Show Details
    Necessary
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Features
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Marketing
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Statistics
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)
    ClickscoThis is a data management platform studying reader behavior (Privacy Policy)