Pet owners realize the joy that comes with pet ownership. These magnificent creatures enhance our lives in ways we could have never imagined. They truly become members of our family and in some cases the only family that we have. Unfortunately, some pet owners don’t realize that there is an ongoing animal overpopulation problem. This is an issue that is receiving far less attention than it deserves.
Animal shelters across the country are constantly running at full or near full capacity. This leads to millions of potential pets being euthanized and being replaced by incoming homeless animals. This is a vicious cycle that seems to continue on and on without any chance of being changed in a significant way. Fortunately, nothing could be further from the truth. There are things that all of us could do that would make the situation much better for the animals and for us as well.
The first step is to take action in the home. Pet owners need to spay or neuter their pets when they are old enough for the procedure. This process is relatively inexpensive and will prevent unnecessary pregnancies which will only contribute to the overpopulation issue. Also, animals acquired from certain pet shelters (like the Humane Society) include spaying or neutering as part of the adoption package upon payment of the adoption fees.
The next step is to give to at least one of the many reputable charities that focus on the welfare of animals. These groups provide shelter, needed health services, public education and work tirelessly to find forever homes for all the animals in their care. Many of them are also constantly on the lookout for abusers of animals. These includes hoarders, illegal puppy mill proprietors, and exploiters of animals such as the criminals that operate fighting rings.
Pet overpopulation is a problem that can be remedied. All we need to do is take the first step.