Rescue Me, Take Me in Your Arms!
I am haunted by these lyrics recorded by Fontella Bass in 1965.
- There are approximately 5000 shelters in the USA.
- Approximately five to seven million companion animals enter animal shelters nationwide every year, and approximately three to four million are euthanized (60 percent of dogs and 70 percent of cats). Shelter intakes are about evenly divided between those animals relinquished by owners and those picked up by animal control. These are national estimates; the percentage of euthanasia may vary from state to state.
- According to the National Council on Pet Population Study and Policy (NCPPSP), less than two percent of cats and only 15 to 20 percent of dogs are returned to their owners. Most of these were identified with tags, tattoos or microchips.
- 25 percent of dogs who enter local shelters are purebred, according to NCPPSP.
- Only 10 percent of the animals received by shelters have been spayed or neutered, while 78 percent of pet dogs and 88 percent of pet cats are spayed or neutered, according to the American Pet Products Association (Source: APPA).
Yes, I have purebred dogs and one “rescued” cat. It seems as though once a week I get a donation request from a shelter or an animal rescue organization. An appeal last week that pulled at my heart is about Freckles, a one-year old pit bull in Baltimore, MD, who was starved, dragged behind a vehicle and then thrown in a dumpster alive. http://www.noahs-arks.net/RESCUE/FRECKLES.html.
My plea is this: If you are considering getting a dog or cat, please contact your local shelter or rescue organization. Looking for a “pure bred”? Then contact: http://www.akc.org/breeds/rescue.cfm for a referral to a breed rescue organization.
Have time, talent or treasures? Contact a shelter or rescue organization and ask how you can help. Now until April 28th, please vote for your favorite shelter or rescue organization to receive prizes and up to $100,000 in grants by clicking here: http://www.theanimalrescuesite.com/clickToGive/ars/shelter-challenge