If I asked you who your everyday heroes were, I’d bet that philanthropists, firefighters, police officers, moms and dads would top that list. I’d also take a guess that your local animal shelter and their staff might not immediately come to mind. In honor of National Animal Shelter Appreciation Week we’ll highlight why animal shelters are heroes to their community and to the animals they care for all year, every year (even on Christmas!)
Animal shelters provide a safe, temporary environment for homeless animals. Animal shelter staff feed, clean and groom animals on a daily basis. Animal care and medical staff observe the behavior and health of every animal. Animal shelter vets and vet techs treat sick animals in order to increase their chances at adoption and a happy and healthy life outside of the shelter.
Adoption and Reunification
Animal care staff ensure that pets available for adoption are matched up with their perfect forever home. Staff often become attached to the animals they care for day in and day out and facilitate the adoption process by sharing with potential adopters the quirky personalities of their favorite pets. Animal shelter staff scan for microchips and make calls to try and track down an owner when an animal is brought in. A microchip with up to date information entered in a microchip registry, a license tag or a pet id with the owners name and number makes reuniting a lost pet with their owner much easier and faster. The time saved by having proper identification on your pet can go to other things, like walking or giving one on one attention to the other animals.
Investigate Cruelty Cases
Although the majority of people in this world have compassion for animals, there are also people out there who choose to hurt them. Most animal shelters have highly skilled animal control officers who investigate animal cruelty cases and instances of neglect. These task forces crack down on abuse toward animals, cite offenders and rescue animals at risk.
Provide Spay and Neuter Services
Most shelters require adopted animals to be spayed or neutered. Spaying and neutering your pet guarantees that the animal can no longer produce an unwanted or accidental litter of puppies or kittens. When you adopt a pet from an animal shelter, the animals are most often already spayed or neutered and at a deeply discounted rate. The cost of the spay or neuter is just one of the things that is included in the animal’s adoption fee.
Educate the Public
Most animal shelters have K-12 programs in which they speak to children and young adults about the benefits of spay and neuter and the value in being kind to animals. If you learn how to be a responsible pet owner at an early age, you’re more likely to adopt an animal in need from a shelter. Educating the public on keeping collars, tags and microchips on their pets, staying current with licenses and the benefits of spay and neuter all contribute to keeping healthy, owned pets out of the shelter system!
Your local animal shelter does a lot for the animals and citizens of their municipalities. To lend a hand and make you THEIR hero, please consider volunteering, donating money or supplies and most importantly ADOPTING an animal from your local animal shelter!
Would you like yo give a shout out to your local animal shelter? Do it on the comments section below!