Has it really been one year already since I started writing this blog? They say that as we age time goes by so much faster. I had no idea it would be going this fast!
It is especially important at this time of year to get our resident cats into new homes so we can make room for the upcoming spring season of life and renewal. In shelter talk that means an abundance of new litters that happens each spring. This past year, we had new litters into November.
There is such a simple solution to this major problem. Spay/neuter your pets! We can’t educate the public enough on this subject. For some reason people still don’t spay/neuter, especially their cats. These animals are allowed to roam, and we all know what happens next.
I was recently talking with a relative who has a 14-month old poodle/Havanese mix, and I was upset to hear that the dog still hadn’t been neutered. Of course, my first question was “why not?” The answer was even more shocking. “People are saying he is so cute that we should breed him.” I went off the walls. Our shelter, along with other shelters, is full of cute dogs and cats. Cuteness is never a reason to bring more animals into this world. Come to our shelter and you can find loads of cuteness just waiting for someone to adopt them. One of our board members sells T-shirts with simple lettering NYPD (Neuter Your Pets Damnit). Love it! Whenever I wear my T-shirt, it starts many conversations with strangers.
So what are we to do? How do we get people to truly understand the importance of spaying/neutering their pets? AWS even offers certificates to help with the cost for people who are in need. Still not enough. It may be due to the fact we are a non-destroy shelter and will keep the animals with us if no forever home is found. That only works if we get them in the door. At times we are too full and can’t take anymore in. We hate having to refuse and put them on a waiting list. Sometimes when people want us to take the animal in and we can’t, they get annoyed and start threatening to abandon the animal or have it euthanized. That is never the answer. I am only mentioning this hoping people will have second thoughts on adding more animals to an already over-crowded society and not wanting this to happen to that cute little dog or cat you may be considering breeding.
Our shelter may be a non-destroy shelter, but there are many that aren’t. I always thought they were mostly in the southern states, but I’ve found out we have a lot of shelters here in Connecticut that are so over-populated they must euthanize their residents. Sometimes as soon as a few weeks! My goodness, that doesn’t even give the animal any time at all to have a chance at being adopted.
What can you do to help, you ask? Speak up for the innocent animals that can’t speak for themselves. Tell everyone you know and then some to spay/neuter their pets. Help us with a donation to our trap/neuter/return program. Let us know of any cat colonies around your community and even that single stray cat that hangs around looking for food. Soon that one will be five, and five will be ten…you get the picture.
We can’t let this overshadow our happiness for the wonderful cats that recently got adopted. Sometimes it can be upsetting worrying about the cats we know are out there and wondering how to get them into our shelter.
Trapping isn’t the only issue to consider. Space is the big issue. We are trying to save up funds for an addition to our shelter so we never have to turn an animal in need away. The homeless animal population is growing faster than our bank account. Each new day brings us new adoptions and closer to our goal.
If you haven’t looked at our Web site recently, www.aws-shelter.org, or our Facebook page, please check them out. You will see the cutest dogs, cats, kittens and puppies waiting for their forever homes. Come in for a visit and quite possibly you may find a space in your heart and home for one of our amazing residents. They don’t ask for much, and they give back so much more.
Cuteness fades…euthanasia is forever!