Estimates from national animal welfare charities put the death toll of pets in American shelters around 9,000 a day. Every day.
And everyone worried about dogs in Sochi?
Whether you adopted your pets from shelters or rescue groups, purchased them from a reputable breeder, took them in off the street, found them online … however you brought your pet into your life, all that stands between him and a kennel at the shelter is a slipped collar.
Regardless of how “expensive” or loved he is, if someone – you or someone else – doesn’t pull him from the shelter, there’s a good chance he will be one of those 9,000.
Some shelters, in big cities, for example, have such high volume of animals, they give as little as three days before killing them. Some places kill certain breeds of dogs outright. If you’re visiting or just moved there and don’t know where to look for your lost pet … yikes.
We all have a lot to lose by not improving the odds for all pets in shelters.
I think about that every day the winds whip up.
One day it blew open one of our gates so Rico and Roxy went exploring. I had been inside working and didn’t know it. Thankfully, they know when I call, something good follows so they came running back. That gate now has more security than Fort Knox.
Spaying/neutering your pet may not sound like it will help pets in shelters now. But it will ease the number of pets entering. Eventually, things will change and shelters can give more time for the animals to be adopted.
And for anyone thinking they’ll get their pet fixed eventually, Best Friends Animal Society put together a super-cute video about why you should spay/neuter your pet early. (Full disclosure: By day, I copy write for this group, but I keep them separate from Dog and Dojo.)
Paying for surgery isn’t like paying for college. There are plenty of resources out there to get your pet fixed on a dime. Here are a few:
- Get Your Fix is an organization linking people with financial means to people who need help paying for their pet’s spay/neuter
- North Shore Animal League’s SpayUSA has a free hotline to find veterinarians who offer discounted spay/neuter procedures near you
- Simply Google “Spay neuter assistance program [your state]” to find additional resources near you
Spaying and neutering isn’t just about our specific pet. It’s about how we treat all pets in this country. And with some 40-plus million families that include at least one pet, we could make a better statement than 9,000 animal deaths every day.