The numbers of unwanted animals and animals that must be euthanized are constantly growing. Through Spaying, Neutering and adoption we can all help to reduce the number of strays and help animals have safe and happy homes.
I have always been a supporter of responsible animal breeding and adoption. Most of the animals that I have owned were adopted. Unfortunately, many people want young animals from pet stores, and do not take steps to keep their animals from breeding. Because of this carelessness animal populations soar and there are more and more animals that must be put down because they feral or a nuisance.
If your family is looking for a pet, always look in your local area and in your local paper to see if there are pets available to good homes. You can also go to your local animal shelter to find pets that have been abandoned and give them a good home. Some pet stores even have certain days of the week where they will display shelter animals for adoption. Always choose adoption over buying a bred-for-sale animal. By doing this you are helping to give unwanted pets good homes.
I adopted a pair of lovebirds found through a newspaper article. I was glad I looked there first, as these birds were being kept in unsanitary conditions, and several of the birds were sick and plucking out their own feathers. They had mites and worms and were in pain. I took the two, and found someone else to take the others. By looking in the paper rather than a store, I was able to save these beautiful birds from what would have otherwise been a slow and painful death due to neglect.
If you’re looking for a cat or dog you might want to look around your own neighborhood. Last year I adopted a kitten that I found in my driveway. There were several cats that came to us to be fed and loved, and we just fell in love with this little tuxedo. If we could have afforded it, we would have taken them all in. We did try to get them homes, but we couldn’t find anyone willing. It was very sad. We even called the no-kill shelter in our area, but they had so many kittens and puppies that they had no room for adult cats.
Overcrowding in shelters, especially no-kill shelters is very common because not enough people are having their pets spayed and neutered. Having your animals “fixed” is one of the first things you should do when you take them to the vet for their first exam. Even if you keep your pet as “indoor only”, there is always the possibility that the animal will escape and produce young. It’s even possible that pets will mate in your own home if you have pets of both genders. Spaying and neutering is crucial in keeping pet populations down.
Many people have difficulty affording spay and neuter services, and this is part of the reason many people don’t have it done to their pets. However, you can contact your state’s Department of Agriculture and ask for a certificate to reduce the cost of the procedure. When I adopted Jynx the cost of spaying was $100, but I was able to contact the Department of Agriculture and they sent the veterinarian a voucher for $40. This made the cost of the procedure more affordable for me. Most states will offer vouchers for $30-40 off spaying and neutering, but you must call and ask for them, the vet cannot do it for you.
For animals like birds and rodents, you can avoid breeding simply by ensuring that all pets you own are of the same gender. Pets this small cannot be spayed or neutered, so you just have to take steps to prevent unwanted breeding. It’s also important to note that breeding birds without professional knowledge can result in the death of the mother bird. Even rodents and other pets can suffer serious health issues if not professionally cared for during pregnancy and birth.
Do your part and ensure that all your pets are spayed or neutered, and encourage friends and family to do the same. If you know anyone who’s thinking about getting a pet, encourage them to go to a shelter or use the newspaper to find a pet that needs a good home. These simple steps can help reduce the number of strays and unwanted animals, and prevent the euthanization of thousands of animals each year.