Bringing a rescued dog home from the local shelter is a good way to become a first-time pet owner. Having a community of other fur parents who will support, give tips and share play dates with us teaches us how to care for animals. Adoption, as wonderful as it may appear, may not be the best option for many dog lovers.
A recent article published in the Scientific Reports studied the impact of returning a pet to the animal shelter and how it affected future animal adoptions. The findings suggest that most animals returned were due to age, incompatibility with existing pets, and concerns related to behavior and health. However, falling adoptions aren’t the only problem that animal shelters face. Adoptions have slowed due to unavailable services like spay and neuter which means shelters can’t get the dogs ready to be adopted as quickly as they should. In addition, shelters face staffing shortages, higher expenditures due to prolonged stays, and a lack of finances to get veterinary services.
Our combined efforts to boost dog adoption awareness can make a tremendous impact not only on animal shelters but on entire communities. Here are 5 simple ways we can help animal shelters aside from adopting.
Allowing a homeless dog to stay in our home temporarily is one of the best ways to help the local shelter free up its space. It can be a fantastic experience, but it requires a significant amount of time and energy. A good foster will be committed to training the dog and bringing it to vet appointments, which some fosters admit to being an effective influence on their pet ownership journey.
Shelters are usually run by a small group of people. Someone is assigned to clean the kennels, walk the dogs, transport, and make important phone calls. Adoption events also occur during weekends but they almost always depend on the shelter’s capacity and other organizations willing to support them. By volunteering to do these activities, staff can focus on increasing adoption since shelter operations are maintained.
Animal shelters can benefit from new and old items provided to the canines in addition to cash. Food, cleaning materials, newspapers, and toys are commonly requested, as well as grooming products like towels and brushes. However, some shelters are strict with what they accept so it’s important to find out what they prefer.
What happens when shelters can’t accommodate any more dogs? There are laws in several places that allow euthanizing animals, sometimes known as mercy killing. When places suffer from an overpopulation of dogs and not enough demand for pet ownership, NGOs and volunteers look for other animal shelters with the space and ability to take them in. Relocating dogs between states have become a cultural practice in the US. It not only has a significant impact on a dog’s life expectancy, but it also benefits the many families who have been waiting to adopt a pet.
Creative ideas can also make a huge difference to animal shelters that are always fundraising and putting out fliers for adoption events. Whether it’s photography, video editing, copywriting or social media, using creativity to raise awareness about dog adoption can go a really long way.
Being a responsible pet owner is something that can only be learned by experience, thus no amount of books or well-intentioned advice will completely prepare us for dog adoption. Helping others understand the reality faced by animal shelters will promote a community that cares for animal welfare as well as the lives that will be touched by successful pet adoptions.