Help those who cannot help themselves

Published 6:18 am Friday, July 18, 2008

Animal shelters across the country are facing an epidemic of intakes as the skyrocketing foreclosure rate has forced residents to surrender their pets. Larger, more expensive animals, such as horses, are also being relinquished.

In a USA Today story July 9, “The situation is sufficiently worrisome that the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) just created a $15,000 seed-money fund (and is seeking public contributions to it) to help shelters and rescue groups accommodate in the short term their local surge in homeless pets.”

As any volunteer at the Mower County Humane Society will tell you, the number of homeless cats and dogs is largely due to the number of people who think they want a pet, but do not or will not properly care for it. The No. 1 problem is the lack of spaying and neutering, which causes them to multiply at a rate higher than they can keep up with. Many pets, particularly dogs, come in from homes were they have been abused or neglected.

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The MCHS currently has at least 100 cats, including several litters of kittens. Dogs, however, move faster in and out of the shelter during summer months when people are more willing to adopt. Black dogs are especially hard to find homes for.

If you are considering bringing a new pet into your home, look into adopting from a shelter. Rather than purebred pedigree, make personality your priority when choosing a pet.

The MCHS is open for viewing Tuesday from 4:30 to 6 p.m. and Sunday from 2 to 4 p.m. The shelter is located at 1010 10th Dr. S.E., next to Echo Lanes.

Volunteers are always needed in every capacity — help those who cannot help themselves.