Winter can be a hard time for pets and shelters. Dogs and cats kept outside may be seeking warmth in other areas and picked up as strays. This weekend, Friends of the A.D.O.P.T pet shelter in Naperville, Illinois helped raise money through a confectionery walk (http://www.chicagotribune.com/suburbs/naperville-sun/news/ct-nvs-cookie-walk-naperville-adopt-st-0325-20180324-story.html). Homemade treats lined tables and walking patrons browsed the “Spring Walk” purchasing treats. The funds support the animals in the shelter; improving the life for the dogs and cats at the shelter and supporting adopt efforts and drives. Each year, the walks (one in Spring and one at Christmas) bring more and more people out to bake treats, samples treats, and support the shelter.
Nationwide, there are approximately 5,000 animal shelters and over 6 million dogs and cats are estimated to enter shelters each year (https://www.aspca.org/animal-homelessness/shelter-intake-and-surrender/pet-statistics). Nearly 1.5 million shelter pets are euthanized each year due to aging, disease, or lack of space. This number is down from past years due to an increase in animal adoptions and in animals reunited with their owners.
Many of the nation’s pets (78 million dogs and 85.8 million cats) came to family through word of mouth (46%!). This includes getting pets from animal shelters. Many dogs at shelters are there because they need to be rehomed. Meaning, families did not obtain pet that fit with their lifestyle (too active, not able to be with other animals, not cooperative with children) and now requires a new living arrangement.
To find your local shelter to adopt a pet, volunteer with the animals, or donate to a local (or national) shelter, check out the human society’s webpage (http://www.humanesociety.org/animal_community/resources/tips/find_local_animal_shelter.html). It provides community information and resources that will help you get involved in supporting pets in your community. If you cannot adopt a pet, you might consider walking pets at the shelter, volunteering to help bathe pets, or providing a financial contribution that helps your local shelter provide food, shelter, and veterinary care to it’s many animals.