Saving stray animals, one furry four-legged friend at a time
Animal shelters and rescue groups across the country are hurting for space year-round, but at this time of year especially they begin to bulge at the seams. Unfortunately, as a result, millions of beautiful and loving would-be family pets have to be put to death each year at shelters across the country. Something must be done and WE control the power to make that something happen.
I would encourage you to visit www.petsandanimals.org and sign the petition to pass mandatory spay/neuter laws in every state in America. I will say right up front that the petition would make it mandatory for shelters to provide such a free service, and naturally that takes money. I don't know of a single city, county or state in this country not facing budget deficits and while, if passed, this might come down from state capitols in the form of another unfunded mandate, we must look at the cost if we do not have such a program in place.
It costs money to staff shelters with enough people to handle the overcrowding that currently exists. It costs money for pet health care for animals picked up as strays or surrendered by people - often times with the most asinine excuses in the world - in order to make or keep them adoptable. It costs money to euthanize animals who are deemed unadoptable or who simply do not get adopted. And the list goes on and on. By spaying and neutering these animals - something the more progressive shelters have begun doing in the last 10 years or so - we can substantially reduce these expenses and help eliminate the greatest expense of all - that being the tragic, and ofttimes unnecessary - euthanasia of beautiful animals whose only "crime" was being born and not finding a loving, forever home. What a waste to have to destroy so many loving animals.
I want to get on my soapbox for a moment, however. While I support the cause of this petition and signed it wholeheartedly, I do take exception to its use of the word "kill shelters." That expression, of course, references shelters which euthanize animals. Some do it humanely wih a lethal injection, other use less humane methods - which I abhor and would also like to see done away with. But the bottom line is this. People who support "no-kill" shelters and speak ill of the so-called "kill" shelters, do not tell people some very important facts.
First of all, a "no-kill" shelter will take animals in until they are full. At that point they start turning animals away. Those animals' fate can then only be imagined. Do they end up at another shelter? Or are they given away to someone who may sell them to a lab for experimentation? Maybe they are abandoned along the side of the road where they could fall prey to someone who tortures them or they are killed by wild animals or a vehicle. Any number of things could happen to them. So while I admire the dedication that ALL shelter workers have to animals, I fully support those which make a decision to HUMANELY euthanize animals when their time to go to the Rainbow Bridge has come. I believe it is better to die quickly and painlessly with someone holding you and speaking softly in your ear than to face one of the other very real possibilities already mentioned.
And again, despite the use of the words "kill shelters" in the petition I still signed it and would encourage everyone else who is a true animal lover to do the same. Working together we can solve pet over-population. Besides, most veterinarians will tell you that sterilization is actually healthier for the pet, anyway.
Thanks for your time and consideration with respect to this petition and the millions of animals it will ultimately help.