There is not a more heartbreaking sight than that of a pair of sad eyes, staring, silently pleading, hoping against all hope, that the click of the keys on the opposite side of the barred door signals a new life for the cat or dog on the inside. For thousands of cats and dogs, that click can be either the sound of freedom or the noise of impending death.
Instinctively, a shelter animal knows that click means one or the other.
Most animals are ‘rescues’; they are the domestic cats and dogs who have been brought into the shelter after being turned in by owners who can no longer, for one reason or another, care for it. Perhaps the animal, while wandering the streets, looking for something to eat or for a safe, warm, or dry place to rest, was caught by animal control. In any case, the animals that wind up caged in the shelter, although safe from the possible harm of living on the streets for the moment, are living on borrowed time. With the occupancy level of virtually every shelter in America being at full or over capacity, every animal sits, waiting for his or her ‘forever’ home. For the animal who has been beaten or abused, the hope of finding that forever home never dies or fades away. Sadly, many of these animals die with broken hearts.
The number of responsible pet owners who are looking to adopt a new family member is far too small when compared to the number of available animals. Some people will adopt a homeless pet, while others will insist upon buying from a breeder. For every single purebred pet that is purchased from a breeder, statistics reveal that at least five shelter pets will end up being euthanized. Although the majority of people who own pets are responsible and compassionate enough to spay and neuter their pets, there are those who do not, cannot, or will not do so. There clinics in every major city in America that offer low cost or free spay/neuter clinics. Despite this fact, only a small segment of those pet owners who are eligible to receive the services at free or discounted costs will ever do so. The result is hundreds of thousands of homeless pets will end up in a shelter, awaiting either adoption or death.
As people, we have the ability to change that. Consider adopting from a shelter. The unconditional love and loyalty that comes with one of these animals is unsurpassed. By adopting from a shelter, it is possible for one to buy love.
These animals deserve to live out their life with the love of a person. The dedication, devotion and unwavering loyalty that is given freely by a shelter/rescue animal is the only reciprocation the animal can offer, but rest assured, it is given freely and unselfishly, with an instinctive gratitude. The dedication and love is unsurpassed, and the benefits of having a pet have been scientifically and medically proven to prolong life.