The subject of pet over-population is very close to my heart. Before starting my second career in the pet industry, my “heart work”, I really had no idea how many homeless animals there are in this world and how many die each day.
Are you a pet owner? Do you love your pet? Look into the face of your wonderful pet and know that every day in our county, state, country and world, so many pets, as wonderful as your own darling fur family member, are killed in shelters. These are not all sick or aggressive animals that are euthanized; it’s that same sweet face that greets you each morning, with love and gratitude. Sure we could put all the blame on the shelters, they need to build more kennels, do better advertising, etc., but in my mind I see the problem coming from various sources; irresponsible ‘back yard’ breeders, ignorant people, unmotivated shelter staff and of course, puppy mills.
There are the people that have a pure breed (or close enough) and want to make money so they breed and sell the puppies. Most of the puppies & kittens are not spayed or neutered and the cycle of breeding continues for generations.
While working at our local animal shelter events I’ve had the pleasure, and displeasure, of talking to many citizens over the years. We are always encouraging our community to utilize our low cost spay/neuter clinics and there are always the people saying “we want to breed Fluffy one time then we’ll get her fixed” or “I want my children to see the birth process”, those statements alone would shoot my blood pressure through the roof, however I would be cordial and offer alternatives that would stop the cycle, I’m not confident anyone ever listened!
Of the dogs and cats in our homes, less than half come from shelters or rescue groups. If we were able to increase the percentage of adopted animals by just one percentage, we could prevent the euthanasia of millions (yes, millions) of healthy and treatable pets in America. It’s a problem that has plagued our country for so many years. If you know a friend or family member that has an unaltered pet, please encourage them to spay/neuter, it really, truly saves lives.
If someone is talking about ‘buying’ a pure breed dog, I honor their desire and offer the following information; for every breed of dog, there is a breed specific rescue group with plenty of GREAT dogs that need homes. Oh yes, and puppies too!
Please adopt – don’t shop.