The Paw Read Magazine
5 Ways Animal Shelters Make a Difference in the World
Image Source: Pexels
When you think of a shelter, you probably think of a place that houses stray cats and dogs. While this is partially true, there’s so much more to animal shelters than just pet housing services. Animal shelters are helping the pandemic problem of pet abandonment and feral cat overpopulation in a multitude of ways. These organizations are saving lives every day and making a difference in the world through their work. And this article will show you exactly how!
Educating the Public
In order to solve the pet abandonment pandemic, we first have to understand why people are abandoning their pets in the first place. It might seem obvious; pet owners might have financial issues that make caring for a pet difficult. But it’s so much more than that. Animal shelters have found that the most common reason for pet abandonment is that people just aren’t prepared for the amount of work involved in caring for a pet. People might be expecting a cute, snuggly kitty that is fully independent, doesn’t require food or vet services, and can play by itself all day. They might be expecting a dog that can be trained to obey basic commands with relative ease. But these are wild misconceptions. In order to prevent animals from being abandoned in the first place, shelters are working to raise awareness about what goes into pet ownership. They’re putting together pamphlets, holding community events, and maintaining dedicated websites with all the information people need to know in order to make an informed decision about pet adoption.
Finding Homes for Abandoned Pets
Of course, while it’s great that shelters are preventing pet abandonment with education, they’re also working hard to find new homes for the pets that are already in their care. This can be especially challenging if the animal is considered “unadoptable.” For example, feral cats are often considered “unadoptable” because they’re naturally wary of humans. Shelters that specialize in “hard to adopt” pets have become more and more prevalent over the years. These shelters are committed to finding homes for unadoptable pets and they’re doing amazing work. Many hard-to-adopt pets find homes through special adoption events where people are specifically looking for an unadoptable pet.
Neutering to Help Control Feral Cat Overpopulation
In the United States, there are approximately 80 million feral cats. That’s 80 million domestic cats that have gone wild and are surviving in the wild. These cats are overpopulating and posing a serious threat to the natural wildlife in many areas. Animal shelters are working hard to help control feral cat overpopulation by providing low-cost spay and neuter services. These shelters are also helping feral cat populations by implementing trap-neuter-return (TNR) programs. Once cats are trapped, they are taken to a veterinarian to be spayed or neutered. Then, the cats are returned to the location where they were found and fed by the caretakers.
Providing Emergency Services
Animal shelters can be wonderful places to find a new furry family member, but they’re also a safe haven for animals in need of emergency care. Shelters provide high-quality medical services to both pets in need of adoption and pets whose owners can’t afford medical treatment. Unfortunately, animals are often victims of cruelty. Animal shelters work to prevent cruelty and hold abusers accountable. They provide safe places for animals to stay while their owners are seeking treatment, and they can also help place animals in new homes once their owner has received treatment.
Working to Reduce Animal Cruelty
Sadly, animal cruelty is all too common. Shelters are working to reduce animal cruelty in many ways. For example, they’re providing humane education in local schools to teach kids about the importance of being kind to animals. They’re also helping victims of animal cruelty by providing safe places for abused animals while their owners are seeking treatment. Shelters are also working to identify and report animal cruelty. They employ people whose job it is to monitor activity in the community and report suspected cases of animal abuse.
Animal shelters are making a difference in the world through their work to prevent pet abandonment and reduce feral cat overpopulation. These organizations are providing high-quality medical services, working to prevent cruelty, and providing safe places for animals in need while their owners are seeking treatment. If you love animals, make sure you consider volunteering or donating to a local animal shelter. You can make a difference in the world by helping one animal at a time!