Saturday, August 26th, marks the observance of National Dog Day. At this particular juncture, with an alarming increase in the euthanasia rate of shelter dogs compared to previous years, it is a poignant moment to address how individuals can contribute to the rescue of homeless canines throughout the nation.
Tragically, each day in the United States, over 450 dogs meet their unfortunate end in shelters due to the absence of permanent homes. This heartbreaking statistic translates to approximately 20 dogs per hour across shelters nationwide.
While dogs undeniably bring boundless joy and unwavering affection into our lives, there exists a disheartening paradox wherein our cherished companions are facing an unfortunate fate. Julie Castle, the CEO of the Best Friends Animal Society, aptly points out, “We find ourselves in the paradoxical position of extinguishing the lives of our closest companions. Our trajectory is set towards transforming our nation into a no-kill haven, safeguarding the lives of abandoned pets in every corner and every shelter. Yet, to achieve this noble goal, we earnestly implore all pet enthusiasts to rally and assist their local shelters immediately.”
As per data provided by the Best Friends Animal Society, a prominent advocate for animal welfare with the mission to eliminate the euthanasia of cats and dogs in American shelters by 2025, there has been a notable surge of approximately 100,000 dogs entering shelters in 2022. In parallel, dog adoptions have plateaued at just under one million nationwide. Industry data further reveals a steady increase in the acquisition of dogs from breeders and pet stores over the past few years.
Outlined below are several impactful ways through which you can contribute to aiding homeless dogs and shelters within your local community. With every life rescued, we move one step closer to abolishing the unnecessary euthanasia of shelter animals and fostering a no-kill nation.
- Adopting: Those who are contemplating adding a new canine member to their household can make a significant contribution to the no-kill initiative by choosing adoption. Shelters across the nation house a diverse array of dogs, tailored to various lifestyles, ranging from child-friendly companions to smaller, low-energy apartment companions.
- Fostering: For those not currently ready for adoption, fostering presents a valuable alternative. It provides animals with a temporary home, aiding their acclimatization to a household setting. Fostering also plays a crucial role in the no-kill strategy, offering a safe haven until a permanent home is secured. Numerous organizations even offer foster-to-adopt programs, enabling individuals to assess compatibility before making a commitment.
- Transporting: The act of transporting adoptable animals from regions with an excess of pets seeking homes to areas with high demand is a pivotal aspect of saving lives. Engaging in transport initiatives can make a tangible contribution to the no-kill mission.
- Volunteering: Shelter staff frequently face overwhelming workloads. Volunteering to walk dogs, maintain kennels, and handle laundry tasks contributes to the smooth functioning of shelters. Delegating tasks to volunteers frees up staff to focus on facilitating adoptions, overseeing intakes, and advocating for the welfare of resident animals.
- Donating: Donations, whether monetary or in the form of supplies such as food, blankets, towels, cat litter, and newspapers, provide essential resources for shelters to save more lives. Connecting with your local shelter can help ascertain their specific needs.
- Sharing: Shelters and rescue groups often share information about dogs in need of assistance. By disseminating these posts through social media platforms, awareness is raised, aiding in the placement of dogs in foster or adoptive homes. This effortless and cost-free action can make a positive difference.
For a deeper understanding of engagement opportunities and the Best Friends Animal Society’s aspiration to achieve a no-kill status by 2025, you can visit bestfriends.org.
About Best Friends Animal Society: Established in 1984, the Best Friends Animal Society spearheads animal welfare efforts with the goal of eliminating the euthanasia of dogs and cats in American shelters by 2025. As a trailblazer in the no-kill movement, the organization has played a pivotal role in reducing shelter animal mortality from an astonishing 17 million annually to approximately 378,000. Through nationwide life-saving programs and the largest no-kill animal sanctuary in the nation, Best Friends collaborates with over 4,300 animal welfare and shelter partners, alongside community members, in a united effort to “Save Them All®.”