Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Dogs in Danger

I saw this article in the newspaper on Sunday also and I was mortified. It is about a new website named "dogs in danger" which works with 120 shelters nationwide , helping them match dogs with new owners before the dogs may be euthanized. This is not the part that upsets me. I am glad this website exists. Very glad.

The part that upsets me is the stated fact from this article, that each year, in this country alone, 4 million dogs are euthanized. "How much time a dogs get before death varies from state to state. If a dog is found in the street, it must be kept a minimum number of days, while animals abandoned at a shelter by their owners can often be put to death immediately." This is not what the shelter wants to do, they have to follow state law which wants to control the animal population.

The way the website works is that shelters post information directly on the site about their dogs, with daily updates and information on how to reach the shelter. The adoption service is free to both the shelters and the people searching for pets.

"A shelter can sometimes delay a dog's death date-if it has room in its kennel and few new strays coming in. A death date can also be moved up if the shelter becomes overcrowded."

It doesn't have to be this way. To me it seems there is a simple solution, spay or neuter your pet, cats included. It is cruel to bring another dog or cat into the world if you do not have homes for the puppies or kittens. I am the first to agree that baby animals, of all kinds, are so cute and alluring. But they grow up. And they still need to be loved, and fed, and given attention. Bringing a new pet into a family is a commitment, for your life or the life of the pet.

I think I will stop here before I get too wound up. I just ask that people think before they take a pet home. Can you care for it for its lifetime? That could be 10-15-20 years. If not, are you committed to finding it the best new home possible? These are all things to consider. Before bringing home a new pet, do some research. Go to the library, bookstore, or pet store and find out what you may need to know about the animals care. Make a knowledgeable choice. This will benefit both you and a new pet.

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