Animal welfare groups need your help
By Jane McAllister
For the Salisbury Post
Davie County is fortunate to have an animal adoption center to help address the complex problem of animal overpopulation and euthanasia in Davie County. Some North Carolina counties still do not have that option. However, the scope of the local problem far exceeds the capacity of the Humane Society to work alone. To increase awareness and encourage pet lovers in the area to step forward to help, the Humane Society of Davie County (HSDC) wants readers to know:
– 10 million animals are killed in animal shelters in the United States every year;
– 1,576 dogs and cats were killed in the Davie County animal shelter in 2008.
– 350 dogs and cats were adopted, reclaimed or rescued from the Davie County animal shelter in 2008; the Humane Society rescued 205 pets (most from the county shelter) and adopted out 168 in 2008.
The economic downturn creates substantially higher levels of pet abandonment, as families exhaust their ability to care for their animals. Thus, euthanasia numbers rise significantly this year in Davie County and across the nation. In just eight months of 2009, the county shelter has had to euthanize 616 cats and 504 dogs; at that rate, 1,700 animals stand to die by year-end. Desperate requests for sanctuary for pets and abandoned strays besiege animal welfare groups everywhere. The HSDC receives 20-30 requests each week from people seeking to surrender either pets or strays. Unfortunately, the numbers of animals in need far exceed the ability of groups, including the HSDC, to address the need. The recent sharp decline in financial donations to animal welfare groups exacerbates the problem. Without strong and sustained financial support, these groups, including the HSDC, cannot operate. More innocent animals will lose their lives.
What can you do? First, encourage all pet owners to take responsibility for spaying or neutering their pets to curb the unnecessary animal overpopulation. That unnecessary overpopulation is neither the fault of the county animal shelter nor of animal welfare groups. The responsibility lies with individual owners who fail to make the right choice.
Second, your reading this article demonstrates your concern with animal welfare. We thank you so very much and encourage you to turn that concern into action. If you are in a position to make financial contributions of any amount to an animal rescue group, please do so. Each donation, regardless of amount, contributes greatly to the rescue, health, and adoption of an abandoned dog or cat. Each donation provides them with a second chance. Anyone who has adopted a rescued animal understands the unconditional gratitude of that animal. They show it every day.
Third, you can contribute in small, but significant other ways. Save plastic shopping bags for our use at the adoption center. Pick up and donate an extra bottle of bleach or bag of pet food when you shop. Write our N.C. senators and representatives about animal welfare legislative initiatives. Help us plan and run a fundraising event or rabies clinic. Volunteer at the adoption center to walk dogs for their daily exercise or care for the cats. Foster an abandoned pet awaiting a new home. Report animal abuse to the county sheriff’s office. Adopt your next pet. And always spay or neuter. Each of these actions makes a huge difference in the lives of loving animals.
We choose to celebrate our “happy adoption tails” fully aware that too many other animals are not as fortunate. Won’t you please help in whatever ways you can to create more happy endings?
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Jane McAllister is president of the Humane Society of Davie County.