Shelter Killing is the #1 cause of death for companion animals. Heartbreaking isn't it.
The Austin No Kill Workship (hosted by The Austin No Kill Coalition) was a huge success and very informative on what the average person, as well as the things that shelters and business owners can offer to help save the lives of healthy animals from certain death.
I'll start with a little background on this movement: The No-Kill Movement really targets those animals who are needlessly put to sleep. There will still be situations where an animal is unhealthy or has severe (REALLY severe) behavioral problems and cannot be saved. Having worked in a shelter for several years, it is never easy to see these guys go for any reason, but in situations where the animal is beyond saving, a decision to humanely euthanize must be made.
Healthy, Happy and extremely adoptable animals enter our shelter every day, a huge percentage of these animals are killed simply because there is no space, the shelter does not have the funding to save them, or a number of other ridiculous reasons. No Kill focuses on getting every adoptable animal out and seen by the public, raising awareness and promoting adoption.
So the big question is, What can I do?
#1 - Foster! I assume you are following my blog because you are an animal lover, and rightfully so! You will often find a few extra paws and fluffy tails at my house, taking up temporary residence in our guest room, or playing with my pups. Fostering is completely rewarding, and by fostering a pet, you are opening up a kennel at the shelter to allow housing for another abandoned animal.
#2 - Donate! Donations can include a variety of things, not just money. So if payday isn't coming until next week, clear out the closet and donate some old towels or blankets. Shelters are always in need of peanut butter to give as treats for our homeless little ones. Donate your time as a Volunteer or making fliers to promote your local shelter (although, check with your shelter before distribution to verify information).
#3 - Volunteer! Shelters are always in need of Volunteers to walk dogs, clean up kennels and socialize kitties. During the summer months, get involved with your kids!
#4 - Talk with your Shelter - Find out what they are in need of; food, blankets, etc... and let your co-workers know, raise donations at work and with your friends and family. Your shelter will be so incredibly grateful.
#5 - Adopt!!!!! Don't shop for your pet. Every animal sold by a breeder is one more in a shelter that gets put to death. Nearly 25% of all animals entering shelters are purebred pets. The amount of money you spend on your pet with a breeder is not going to effect the amount of love he/she gives you. So, save a life and add a new family member to your home!
-Stephanie Conrad, artist / animal advocate