Animal shelters do most of their work in private with little to no fanfare. This is probably why many pet guardians see shelters as nightmarish places better suited to death row inmates than someone’s fur baby. But, as our own views of animal guardianship and animal rights have evolved, so have those of our local shelters. Euthanasia rates have plummeted in recent years, and many community-run shelters are focusing on animal enrichment instead of animal containment. That’s just one of many reasons to support local shelters. We have a few more animal lovers to consider.
One way you can help your local shelter is to donate badly needed supplies like food, blankets, and medical supplies. Mange is a common and completely treatable ailment many dogs and cats suffer from when they arrive at a shelter. By donating EcoMange, you can be a part of their recovery. EcoMange is an all-natural remedy that delivers fast-relief, safely. Plus, it’s affordable, which means each of us can buy a couple bottles and drop them by our local shelter. Donating EcoMange is just one of the many ways our customers have found to support dogs and cats in need around the country. It has a low impact on the wallet, but a high-impact on the health and well-being of cat- and canine-companions waiting for their forever home.
Reason One: Animal Shelters (and Animal Control) Help Keep Us Safe
Unfortunately, not all dogs and cats are adoptable. Some of them pose real dangers to wildlife or public safety. It’s often the job of animal control officers and their associated shelters to keep these dangerous animals off the streets. These shelters are usually equipped to deal with wild animals as well. Without them, we’d be swimming in coyotes, skunks, raccoons, foxes, and plague carriers like prairie dogs and bats.
Reason Two: Animal Shelters Aren’t Picky
Many animal rescues are hyper-focused on one or two breeds of animal. Those that aren’t tend to be very picky about which animals they choose to work with. Community-run shelters rarely have that luxury. Most of them will take any animal: stray, owner-surrendered, or lost. While this leads to inflated euthanasia rates, local shelters are often the last thing standing between a sick animal and a long, painful death. Before we get too teary-eyed though, we need to remember that the average shelter euthanizes just 13-percent of the animals brought to them.
Reason Three: They’re on the Frontlines of Combating Animal Cruelty
When we report cases of animal abuse or neglect, it’s often up to animal control to handle the situation. If their investigation uncovers evidence of animal cruelty, they’ll work in conjunction with local shelters to ensure the animal gets to safety. This can be a dangerous task, as someone who can harm an animal often has no qualms about injuring a fellow human being. When it comes to shutting down puppy mills or thinning out animal hoards, animal control and local shelters work right alongside one another to get the job done.
Reason Four: Local Shelters Help Communities Learn
In recent years, shelter priorities have shifted. Instead of focusing on spaying and neutering initiatives, many shelters are attempting to tackle the root causes of animal homelessness. By doing so, they hope to stop animals from ending up at the shelter in the first place. This has led many shelters to start educational programs such as obedience classes and behavioral hotlines. A few shelters have even started going door to door in the community to speak with frustrated pet owners about their issues. By catching these problems early, volunteers hope to keep more animals in their home.
Reason Five: They’re Stemming the Flow of Unwanted Puppies and Kittens
Spaying and neutering are still the best way to combat the tide of unwanted animals. While most of us know that local shelters spay and neuter every animal that comes through their doors, we’re often unaware of the other things they do to fight rising pet populations. Many shelters partner with local veterinarians to offer free or low-cost sterilization to pet owners in lower-income brackets. Recent years have also seen a rise in TNR programs and similar initiatives aimed at reducing the number of feral cats.
Reason Six: Shelters Improve the Health of Animals in Communities They Serve
Veterinary costs can be prohibitive to a lot of pet owners. When they’re slapped with a bill for mange treatment or bowel obstruction surgery, many families feel they have no choice but to abandon their animals. Knowing that medical costs are often an underlying factor for pet surrender, a lot of animal shelters have created low-cost surgical centers for common animal ailments and injuries. They’re also the staunchest advocates of things like Rabies vaccines and parasite prevention. By curtailing the spread of infectious diseases from our animals to us, shelters help keep our animals, and ourselves, healthy.
Reason Seven: Shelters Help Lost Pets Get Home
Animal control is often called on to pick up stray and lost animals. They will hold these animals at a local shelter for about a week before evaluating them for adoption. During that time, the shelters will check the animal for microchips, share their image on social media, and verify that the animal doesn’t match the profile of any missing pets. To help make their job easier, many shelters offer low or no cost microchipping procedures. So, if Fido goes missing, chances are we’ll be able to find him taking a break at the pound.
Reason Eight: They’re an Affordable Way to Add a New Family Member to Our Homes
Animal shelters make it so that every family can afford to add a healthy, vet-checked cat or dog to their home. With fees ranging from $50 to $300 per pet, most households can afford to bring a new furry family member home. These fuzzballs come vet-screened, which means their new guardians can rest easy knowing they have a healthy addition to the family joining them. With the world trending towards shorter paperwork, what once took hours can now be completed in minutes. This doesn’t mean they’ll give animals to just anybody though. As applications shrink, many community-shelters are conducting in-home evaluations and checking references.
Animal shelters and their employees don’t have it easy. Their jobs put them face-to-face with cruelty and heartbreak on a daily basis. And, they rarely get the appreciation they deserve. So, the next time we meet a shelter volunteer, we’ll have to make it a point to thank them for their work. Without shelters, we’d be overrun by feral animals and have no one to turn to when we can no longer care for our cat-and canine-companions.
- “Appreciate Your Animal Shelter,” Alabama Public Radio
- “National Animal Care And Control Association,” NACA
- “Pawing It Forward: State Farm Celebrate the Heroes Working and Volunteering at Animal Shelters,” State Farm