It’s Animal Shelter Appreciation Week! Being in a shelter can be scary and traumatic for pets, but it can also be life changing. A huge percentage of our patients were adopted from shelters, and are now living their best lives as pampered and cherished pets. In this article from Armitage Animal Hospital, an Newmarket, ON vet discusses animal shelters, and the role they serve.
According to 2019 figures, over 6 million pets are taken in by shelters annually. The vast majority of these—3.1 and 3.2 million, respectively—are dogs and cats. However, shelters also try to care for many other animals, including birds, rabbits, Guinea pigs, horses, ferrets, and others. Many of those dogs and cats are lost pets. Just over 800,000 are returned to their humans each year. Of the remainder, about 4.1 million are adopted.
Curbing The Flow
Unfortunately, as you may know, many animals that are brought to shelters never walk out again. Shelters often cannot keep up with the amount of animals coming through their doors. Luckily, more and more shelters are going no-kill. While that is definitely a trend we want to see continuing, it’s also important to try and stop the flow of unwanted pets in the first place. One of the best things you can do to help is make sure your own pets are fixed. Of course, if you’re ready to adopt, head to the nearest shelter or visit their website. This is a great way to find your new pet!
There are many ways to help shelters and rescues. Offering donations may very well be at the top of the list. It takes money and resources to feed and care for all those homeless pets! You can also donate supplies, such as pet food, toys, litter, and pet furniture. If you want to get more involved, you may want to consider volunteering. Spending a few hours playing with shelter dogs or taking pictures of adoptable kitties may end up being a wonderful mood boost! Fostering is another option. If you have the time, inclination, and resources, this may be something for you to look into. Even spreading the word by sharing social media posts can help!
Please reach out to Armitage Animal Hospital, your Newmarket, ON vet for all of your pet’s veterinary care needs. We are here to help!