Saturday, November 22, 2008

For the love of puppies

So, Mike has been fostering a beagle dog and her four little pups for the past three weeks or so. They are so cute. Luckily, the canines all already have homes but they all just needed a place to stay until the pups are six weeks old, so they can travel to NYC. Mike got a call from the lady who had told us about the pups we rescued a few months ago asking if he'd be willing to foster them because homes had been found for them, but they were currently in an animal control center and about to euthanized. Since they had homes, he agreed. A volunteer got them from animal control and brought them to the house.

The mother's name is Georgia and each one of her pups have been given names of cities from Georgia. For example, Savannah is one the female pups' name. I don't know all of the names (apparently this was already done when Mike got them). But they're very cute. See for yourself:

I know there is a problem with pet overpopulation, but I hate that animal control centers euthanize animals so indiscriminately - doesn't matter the type, age, background, circumstance, etc - if an animal is in the center for X amount of days/hours it gets put down. If it weren't for animal rescue groups, a lot of these animals would've died and missed out on living a happy, healthy and purposeful life -- improving the quality of life of a senior, helping a physically challenged person with daily living, and/or making a family feel complete. Animal control does not take any steps to help relocate the animal or to see if the animal might actually be a lost pet.

I'm glad there are animal rescue groups exist, but I think it's also our responsibility as pet owners and pet lovers to do our part in reducing pet over population. Be sure to get your pet spayed or neutered. If you have neighbors or friends who need help with this, give it (spaying/neutering) to them as a gift. We've had several neighborhood strays spayed/neutered. There are many affordable ways to get animals (including the "at-risk" neighbor's "pet") "fixed." A couple places to check out are: SPAY - USA and the American Humane Society.

With the holidays approaching, a lot of people will be giving puppies or kittens as a gift, including our new President-elect. Please considering adopting from your local animal control center and encourage others to do the same. (Please note that sometimes there is a difference between an animal control center and an animal shelter.) Most animal control centers are funded by the local government whereas a lot of animal shelters are nonprofit organizations, funded by individual donors and/or grants. Please start your search at your local animal control center (this is where they euthanize the animals if they are not adopted within X amount of time), then move to your local animal shelter if you are unable to find the pet that meets your needs.

Other possible gifts are time (through volunteerism) and money/supplies. There are several ways to volunteer your time: 1) become a foster home for a pet in transition, 2) help out at a local shelter - great opportunity for family volunteer time and giving back to the community or, 3) help a rescue group by trying to locate homes for displaced pets. Shelters are in continual need of money and supplies. If you have resources but no time, write a check to a local no-kill animal shelter and/or drop off a load of supplies (be sure to call and see what their specific need is at the time), most of the time the donations are tax deductible - based on the shelter. Below are a few links you might find helpful:
  1. American Humane
  2. ASPCA
  3. ASPCA Facebook
  4. ASPCA MySpace
  5. Animal Rescue Site
  6. Petfinder
Please feel free to add your own links that you think others might find helpful.


Tessa said...

Dear Paula,
You and your husband pretty much rock! I feel happy knowing that you've provided such sweet care for those puppies, while they were transitioning from the shelter to their new home.

We have, over the years, adopted six kitties- most from the local shelter. You'll be happy to know that they are all spayed + neutered. I agree that it's really part of being a responsible pet owner, at least that's how I see it. I love that you thought to provide a couple of links to those owners who really want to spay and neuter their pets, but may need to explore lower cost options. Awesome!!

Thanks for all you do to help animals. woof woof!

Paula said...

Awe....thanks, Tessa. I think our responsibility is greater to pets and others who are in a lesser position to defend themselves. I'm glad you feel the same way.