If you love animals, you should be grateful for your community pet shelter. These organizations serve their neighborhood in numerous ways, including arranging pet adoptions, offering shelter to lost pets and reuniting them with their families, organizing low-cost spay and neuter programs, and initiating animal cruelty investigations. The kind people who staff these establishments spend a lot of time and effort protecting the welfare of animals in their community, and they need your support to continue this important work. Our team at Town and Country Animal Hospital suggests ways you can show your gratitude to your area pet shelters.

Show your gratitude by donating to your local pet shelter

Pet shelters can’t provide all their important services without donations from animal lovers like you. Opening your pocket book is invariably helpful, since pet shelters are always in need of extra money. However, donating supplies, such as pet food, cat litter, puppy pads, cleaning supplies, trash bags, blankets, and towels, is also incredibly useful.

Show your gratitude by volunteering at your local pet shelter

You can also donate your time and volunteer at a pet shelter. Extra hands are always needed, and you don’t have to be an animal expert to help out. Obviously, the pets need to be fed, watered, and walked, and their cages and kennels must be cleaned regularly. In addition, people are needed to help during clinics that provide low-cost vaccinations and spay and neuter procedures. Other ways you can provide assistance include transporting pets, participating in fundraising events, and promoting adoption drives.

Show your gratitude by becoming a pet foster parent

Pet shelters don’t have enough room for all the pets in need, and pet fosters are a great way to help more pets. In addition, pet fosters are needed to care for pets who require extra attention, such as puppies and kittens, or pets who need frequent medications. Puppies and kittens need appropriate socialization, so they grow up as well-behaved and well-adjusted adult pets, and pet foster parents can provide this specialized care to ensure they are ready to be adopted.

Show your gratitude by adopting a pet

If you have decided you need a new four-legged family member, adopt a pet from your local pet shelter rather than purchasing one from a breeder or pet store. Reasons adopting a pet is the best option include:

  • Pet adoption allows you to know your pet’s temperament — When you purchase a puppy or kitten, you don’t know their temperament or personality. Will they be quiet or rambunctious, independent or needy? Shelter workers spend time with the pets in their care, and they can steer you toward the pet that best suits your family’s needs. 
  • Pet adoption saves lives — Overwhelmed pet shelters, sadly, are forced to euthanize many pets every year when homes can’t be found. By adopting a pet, you are saving that pet’s life, giving them a forever home, and making room for another pet in need of help and shelter. You save multiple lives when you adopt a pet.

Show your gratitude by spaying or neutering your pet

The dog and cat overpopulation often overwhelms pet shelters, unfortunately making euthanizing numerous pets necessary. By spaying or neutering your pet, you are ensuring your pet can’t contribute to the pet overpopulation crisis. Spaying or neutering has several other benefits for you and your pet, including:

  • Preventing uterine infections and mammary tumors — Spaying your female pet prevents uterine infections and other issues involving the uterus. In addition, if the procedure is performed before the pet’s first heat, their risk for mammary tumors decreases drastically.
  • Preventing testicular cancer and prostate issues — Neutering your male pet prevents testicular cancer, and decreases their risk for prostate issues.
  • Preventing heat cycles — Spaying your female pet prevents them from experiencing heat cycles, which can be disruptive to your household. Female dogs frequently bleed during this time, and female cats typically become extremely vocal. 
  • Preventing unwanted behavior — Neutering your male dog prevents them from urine marking their territory, and may also make them less aggressive. In addition, neutered dogs are less likely to roam, lessening their risk of being hit by a car or involved in a fight with another animal. 

Show your gratitude by microchipping your pet

Numerous lost pets are taken to shelters until their owner can be located, and if the pet can’t be identified, they take up space in the shelter that is needed for homeless pets. Microchipping your pet is the best way for a shelter to reunite you with your pet. This simple procedure, which can easily be performed at your pet’s next wellness visit, is no more painful than a vaccination. The procedure involves implanting a small microchip in the skin behind your pet’s neck, which can be scanned to provide an identification number. Once the chip is implanted, you must go online and register your pet, and then ensure that you keep your contact information up to date, so your pet can be traced back to you should they go missing. Your pet also should always wear a collar and identification tags with your current contact information.

Showing your gratitude and support for your local pet shelter will help ensure they can continue to provide their important services that promote animal welfare. If you have adopted a new pet from your local shelter, contact Town and Country Animal Hospital, so we can meet your new addition, and ensure they are happy and healthy.