On January 24 it’s Change a Pet’s Life Day. Pets who have homes are extremely lucky.
6.3 million dogs and cats are in shelters each year and a whopping 1.5 million of them are euthanized. And that’s only in the United States. There are far more homeless cats than dogs because stray cats are much harder to capture and thus control the population.
However, there are ways we can reduce these statistics and spread awareness of this issue. The purpose of Change a Pet’s Life Day is to encourage people to adopt a pet, but that’s not the only way you can make a difference. Here are five ways you can change a pet’s life!
ADOPT OR FOSTER
If you are ready to adopt, please adopt from an animal shelter. If you have your heart set on a specific breed, there are plenty of purebred rescue organizations.
If you’re not ready for the long-term commitment of a pet, please consider fostering. Fostering is the most effective way to change a pet’s life. It can save them from euthanasia, free up spots in shelters, and give them time to adjust to living in a home. Fostering is practically free because animal shelters cover most medical expenses and provide donated supplies. Consider fostering a cat since there are far more in need of a home.
SPONSOR A PET
There are programs where you can choose one or more animals to sponsor. Sponsoring a pet involves donating crucial funds for medical care and everyday necessities until the pet finds a loving home. Sponsorships help shelters with limited funding reach more animals in need. Ask your local shelter if they have a sponsorship program or you can check out Petfinder’s.
Donating money to shelters goes a long way, even just $5 per month. You can also donate food, toys, and other supplies to your local shelter. Supplies don’t have to be new! Just ask your local shelter what they need. One hack is to send supplies through Amazon.
SPREAD THE WORD
This one is simple but effective. Follow your local shelter on social media to keep up with shelter needs and share posts about animals who need a home. It’s hard to resist a cute, fuzzy face!
You can volunteer at your local shelter by walking dogs, cleaning cages, playing with animals, or even just petting them. You can even use your pilot’s license to transport rescue animals. Check out these unique organizations.
Pet Rescue Pilots: The mission of Pet Rescue Pilots is to “rescue by relocation.” They relocate animals from high-kill shelters to California where there are not enough animals for the number of families looking to adopt.
Pilots N Paws: Pilots N Paws is a non-profit organization that coordinates with pilots and plane owners that are willing to assist with the transportation of animals, overnight foster care, and more.
There are plenty of ways to change a pet’s life every day, especially if you’ve adopted a pet! The more people that do just one of these five actions, the more we can increase the number of animals with loving homes and reduce these awful statistics.