We always had pets in our home as I was growing up. Whether it was a mutt from the shelter or a stray cat that started sticking around, we constantly maintained a small menagerie. It was a chance for me, as an only kid, to have a companion and learn to care about something other than myself. When our pets got sick or injured, it was also an opportunity to learn about grief. Mostly it was a chance to receive the kind of unconditional love that only a pet can provide.
|From Liberty Humane Society (NJ) site.|
Now a confession – I cry whenever a Humane Society, ASPCA, or PETA commercial comes on television. My husband rushes to flip the channel the minute he catches a glimpse of a sad little furry face staring out from between the bars of a cage. He’s usually not fast enough, and I insist that he leave the commercial to run. It’s not that I’m particularly fond of blubbering over the television. It’s that I don’t want to forget that everywhere at any time there are animals in need.
Recently, a story in my local news grabbed my attention. Some numbskull (that’s my nice name for the offender) decided they’d had enough of their cat and threw her over a highway overpass. However, her nimble coordination allowed her to grab onto one of those big green highway signs and find a place to sit, just balanced on the scaffolding below the structure. The poor thing sat there for two days until someone spotted her and the local animal control rescued her. After a bit of TLC at a shelter, Freeway, as the shelter named her, is now available for adoption by a loving family.
|From Portsmouth, VA Humane Society site.|
Animals can’t ask for help, and they are usually stoical in the face of pain and neglect. Yes, they require care and feeding, but they return good care and affection a thousand-fold. If helping animals is your charity of choice, there are many ways to give. You can donate money to the biggies like World Wildlife Fund, your state or local American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA), or People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA). You can also donate money to your local shelter or Humane Society.
If it’s a financial burden to donate money, consider donating your time. Most local shelters and humane societies welcome volunteers and will provide training for such work. This kind of donation usually involves helping to socialize the shelter animals, so you’ll get to spend lots of rewarding time with pets who need your love and attention. Some no kill shelters also need foster families who are willing to take up-for-adoption pets home until they can find their forever family.
|From Liberty Humane Society page - New Jersey|
For an animal in need, there is no greater gift you can give than the gift of a home. If you or your family isconsidering a new pet, consider your local shelter or pet refuge. Fees for adoption are usually affordable and go to support other animals in need. Often the cost of spaying or neutering is included in the adoption fee. While there are usually kittens and puppies available at shelters now and then, don't forget the animals that are bit older who really need a second chance. Unbelievably, some folks actually take pets to the shelter or abandon them once they’ve passed that cute puppy stage or grown larger than the owner expected.
Have you given a home or donated your time/money to animals in need?