Animal shelters and pounds house animals that have been abandoned or discarded. Most animals living in such facilities are cats and dogs. These centers have their origins in farming communities, when stray livestock would be held there until their owners could claim them. Today, efforts are underway to find homes for these animals. But how can you help? Here are some ways you can contribute to your local animal shelter. And remember, it takes many different forms to help these animals.
Efforts to reduce euthanasia in animal shelters
Efforts to reduce equine euthanasia have many facets, and are important to consider in addressing the issue. Many animal shelter workers face a moral dilemma, weighing the need to end the suffering of healthy animals against the need to prevent diseases or the threat of environmental harm. The problem is much larger than reducing the number of animals in shelters. Educating the public, preventing overpopulation, and implementing more effective animal welfare policies can reduce the need to euthanize countless animals.
Among the most effective strategies to reduce euthanasia in animal refuges are those that encourage veterinary clinics to spay and neuter companion animals. Transparency and accountability are key aspects of reducing euthanasia in animal shelters. The public’s understanding of these issues can help motivate pet owners to adopt animals from these organizations. And, if the public has a better idea of the causes and consequences of euthanasia, they are more likely to adopt the animals.
In an attempt to prevent euthanasia, animal shelters are required by law to apply for a permit and keep a record of all euthanasia performed in their facilities. This is not an ideal solution, since euthanasia is still often necessary in a shelter and it is much more efficient to use veterinarians instead of animal shelters. While there are some states that ban the use of gas chambers, most of the others do not require them at all.
Efforts to find new homes for animals in shelters
Efforts to find new homes are not limited to the south. These efforts have become part of a broader transformation in the companion animal welfare field. While the ASPCA’s program is the most well-known, nonprofit groups and ad hoc bands of volunteers are moving animals from shelters around the country. Using social media and websites like Facebook and Petfinder, these groups organize vanloads of animals each month.
The United States’ animal shelters care for around 5 to 8 million homeless pets every year. Many of these animals are cats and dogs. Shelters often receive these animals from questionable breeding facilities, kennels, and veterinarians. While a majority of animals will find new homes, a significant number will be euthanized. While some shelters are better than others at finding new homes, many animals end up in a shelter simply because their owners cannot keep them.
Animals deteriorate quickly once in a shelter. Large breed dogs, older pets, and animals with special needs typically end up dying first. Shelters typically have only three days to find adopters before euthanasia occurs. Some animal shelters choose not to euthanize because they lack the resources to transport the animals to new homes. No-kill shelters generally keep animals for months or years.
Ways to help your local animal shelter
Aside from donating money, you can volunteer your time to care for animals in need at your local animal shelter. Volunteering your time to exercise the animals at the shelter will help them stay healthy. Most shelters have wish lists on their websites or on Amazon. If you do not have the time to go shopping, you can donate items that the shelter already has on hand. Your time and expertise will be appreciated. Your efforts will help them meet the most immediate needs of their animals.
One way to donate to an animal shelter is to collect items for the animals on their wish lists. Many shelters will gladly accept gently used toys. The children can also create posters that feature the available pets. The shelters also welcome donations of pet food, water, food bowls, leashes, and bedding. Your time and talents will help these animals stay healthy and happy. There are so many ways to donate to an animal shelter!
Volunteering for your local animal shelter may be a great way to meet new people and help animals. You may even be able to help out without the animals themselves! Volunteering can help them with administrative duties. The animal shelters are always looking for people who would be willing to help out. In addition to donations, some shelters are looking for people to provide their skills to the shelter. The more volunteers you can get, the better.