We are experiencing a plague in the United States. Unwanted and stray cats and dogs. I believe a great deal of this is due to lack of education. Some cities and municipalities put a lot of funding behind spaying and neutering education. Many communities have no-kill shelters, and a lot of other good is being done. But more can be done. The amount of strays is epidemic in the U.S and does not seem to be getting better. We know better, most of us.
For every American baby born there are seven cats born. A female cat and her offspring can (and usually does) produce nearly a half-million kittens within seven years. One female dog and her offspring can produce 67,000 puppies in six years (and usually does).As many as 25% of dogs entering shelters each year are purebreds. Approximately 61% of all dogs are killed in animal shelters. Approximately seventy-five percent of all cats entering shelters are killed.It costs approximately $100 to capture, house, feed, and eventually kill each stray animal and paid by, you know who, the taxpayer.
Can you see the importance of becoming educated regarding spaying and neutering pets? The Doris Day Animal League has a wonderful program which can give you a great bit of important information. Your local SPCA can be very educational as well.
I try my best not to be judgmental. There was a time when I knew none of this. Though I owned pets all my life, I truly did not understand true pet care until I became an adult. . I only knew what my parents taught me which was very limited. As a upper-middle class child, like other upper-middle class kids, my parents bought me “the dog du jour” or what was trendy from a recent movie. From labrador retrievers to poodles to goldens. And from my parents point of view, they all had to come from the best of the best breeders. There is nothing wrong with that. Those animals need homes as well, and and least I learned some pet-care in my youth. I had my share of cats which was a wonderful experience as well.
It has taken me almost eight months to get past the loss of my last dog “Thor” , who “found me” in the mid ’90’s, lived to be close to twenty two years old, was with me twelve years. I fed him the b.a.r.f. (raw foods diet). He was very unhealthy when I found him, not at a shelter, (though I feel confident I would have adopted this magnificent creature had I found him there), but he was lost in the woods of rural Ms. He showed up with several other weather-beaten dogs. It was tornado season and there was one in the vicinity.
I never knew a stray mutt “Thor” could be my inspiration, the living soul on earth who would teach me about unconditional love. He turned out to be my “best therapist ever”.
I have taken in probably 20 stray dogs and cats since I’ve had Thor but found them all homes. Thor does not like to share his space with me, and at his age, he is the boss. I don’t want him feeling “replaced”. I encourage you to run by the shelter and take a look at some of the gorgeous sweet animals desperate for a home. Most shelters are not no-kill so most of them are on death row. You can be a hero to them, and believe me the payback is a million times over. Don’t believe me? Give it a try.
Author: Rick londonThis author has published 9 articles so far.