What can YOU do to help?
Every year, thousands of animals are adopted from shelters, pet stores, breeders, farms, etc. A lot of those places have animals that are adopted by happy families that are willing to take care of the animal that they are adopting. Many of the homes have healthy, happy animals that are cared for and loved. But we must remember that there are so many animals that are in the exact opposite situation.
Did you know your shampoo, your mother’s perfume, and your dad's cologne were probably tested on an animal? Human products are tested on animals to see if they are safe for people, and that is called animal testing. It is cruel to animals because sometimes the products aren't safe and end up injuring the animals. You should make sure the products you use aren't tested on animals. Safe products will say "not tested on animals". Every year, animals are abused, neglected, or not cared for correctly. For example, puppy mills and greyhound racing are two ways that animals are getting abused regularly. Puppy mills are places that animals are forced to breed. Thousands of puppies are bred and sold to pet stores. These places have tight quarters and are very unhealthy, bad environments for the puppies to live in. That's why it is not a good idea to buy a dog from a pet store. You may want to help that dog in the cage, but all it does is encourage the industry and give money to the puppy mills. It is best to find a shelter and also good to buy a pet from a breeder. With greyhound racing, dogs are bred to race and be bet on. Unsuccessful animals face a questionable future. Animal abuse is happening all around the world and even here in Connecticut. In our community the most common form is animal neglect. Animals are left without an owner and then they end up in pounds. We want to do as much as we can to help prevent animal abuse in our community.
Numbers and Data
- Every year, about 5 million to 7 million companion animals go to animal shelters
- More than 20 percent of people that give their dog to a shelter are not able to take care of their pet due to money and time reasons. Therefore, they will abandon their pets, who will hopefully make it to a shelter
- About 62 percent of households in the US have a pet
- About 78.2 million dogs and 86.4 million cats are owned in the US
- According to the National Council on Pet Population Study and Policy (NCPPSP), less than 2 percent of cats and only 15 to 20 percent of dogs are returned to their owners
- It is impossible to determine how many stray dogs and cats actually live in the United States. It is estimated that for cats alone it ranges up to 70 million strays
- The average cost of basic food, supplies, medical care, and training for a dog or cat is $600 to $900 annually
- Seventy-eight percent of pet dogs and 88 percent of cats are spayed or neutered. This is important because it prevents more and more puppies that are born and then don't have a home
- Owned cats and dogs generally live longer, healthier, happier lives than strays.
(information taken directly and paraphrased from ASPCA.org)
What can YOU do?
Here are some ways that you can help these animals.
You can volunteer at a shelter in your community.
You can also make donations to a local pet shelter or to a reliable organization that takes donations to help homeless, abused, or neglected animals. Make sure you check with a parent or guardian before making a contribution to an organization.
One other simple way of helping animals is being a responsible pet owner. This means being the owner who is willing to love and care for your pet every day and your pet will do the same for you.