Ah, early Summer. The birds are singing, flowers are blooming, and people are arriving in droves to dump their pets at local animal shelters. Litters of kittens and puppies conceived and born in the Spring fill kennels and foster homes at this time of year. To make matters worse, it’s allergy season, and frequently pets are blamed for seasonal allergies and evicted from their homes by irresponsible pet parents who can’t be bothered to see an actual doctor to determine why someone in the family is sneezing and bleary-eyed. Some pets are dumped because their owners are planning summer vacations and don’t want to bother making arrangements for their pets. I’ve even heard of pets surrendered to shelters because a family’s Spring cleaning involved the purchase of new furniture, and the pet no longer matches!
Sadly, at this time of year, shelters are often full to brimming and euthanizing adoptable pets in droves. No-kill shelters and rescues may have to turn pets away. With pet dumping season coinciding this year with a worldwide recession, animal shelters and rescues are working overtime to save as many pets as possible, but many still will never find a new forever home. If you can help without compromising your ability to care for yourself or your pets, now’s a great time to do so.
Adopt a Pet
If you’ve got the space, time, and money for another pet, this is a good time to adopt. Do you want to be sure you’re truly saving a life? Go to Dogs in Danger. There’s no equivalent website for cats, but to find and adopt a cat who might otherwise be euthanized, just check the most crowded open-admission municipal shelter around and choose a cat who is no longer an adorable kitten. Shy adult cats or large tomcats that don’t look “cute” are frequently not adopted.
Foster parents are desperately needed right now. It’s kitten and puppy season, meaning people who can take young animals, orphans, or even a mother with a litter, and keep them until they’re ready for adoption, are in even greater demand than usual. If you can open your home to puppies or kittens, call your favorite rescue organization now and ask about fostering. Shelters do their best, but they can’t replicate a home environment as far as socialization and quality of care. Young puppies and kittens, whose brains are still developing, need stimulation and socialization in a home environment in order to mature into social and healthy adults.