Love animals and want to help one today? Here are nine ways you can save a cat, dog, or other domestic animal right now.
Sign the Stop Puppy Mills Pledge: By signing the Humane Society’s pledge, you’re promising: “I will do my part to help stop puppy mills. I pledge to help end this cycle of cruelty by: Choosing not to buy my next pet from a pet store or Internet site and refusing to buy supplies from any pet store or Internet site that sells puppies.” It might not feel like you’re saving a pet today, but your efforts can help. According to non-profit Make A Happen, four to five million puppies die globally every year, that’s roughly 11,000 every day, and roughly one dog dies in a puppy mill every eight seconds!
Adopt a Shelter Animal: Take the advice of my fellow Flora & Fido writer Maggie Marton. According to the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, approximately five to seven million companion animals enter U.S. shelters each year. So follow her five tips to recycle a pet.
Adopt a Guinea Pig: Maggie also tells us that dogs and cats aren’t the only pets that need new homes – and they’re not the only animals bred in mills either. Guinea pigs are in need of help, too. One little guinea pig can’t be so hard to adopt, right?
Look to the Latest Natural Disaster: After Hurricane Katrina, thousands of pets died and many were left behind. Rescue organizations and animal lovers stepped in to help. Right now, pets are being abandoned at an alarming rate in the Gulf Coast region as a result of the oil spill. You can help the forgotten Gulf oil spill victims by adopting one or donating to organizations helping the cause.
Find a Dog or Cat Who Needs You Now: New Beginnings Animal Rescue in Hinesville, Georgia is one non-profit focused on eliminating the euthanasia of cats and dogs. They send emails to their members listing dogs who are on death row with just a few days to live. It’s heartbreaking. But it’s also reality in states that don’t have no-kill shelter mandates. You can also see adoptable and desperate pets on their Facebook page. Another Georgia shelter, Walton County Animal Control, also displays their last-chance pets on their site. Adopt one, or foster a pet to save it now and then find a worthy forever home later.
Fall in Love on the Go: Petfinder.com’s iPhone app makes it easy to adopt a homeless pet whenever you feel inspired. Sitting at the bar with your friends and thinking about adopting a pet? Pull out your phone and make a group decision on the most deserving animal. While you’re at it, find one for every friend sitting at the bar with you. Cheers!
Visit Adopt A Pet: The site’s easy-to-search database has plenty of dogs, cats, rabbits, birds and more for you to fall in love with and rescue. If you’re not ready to add a new animal to your family today, “Twitter a Critter” to encourage your followers to adopt the pets that tug at your heartstrings. I tweeted about Skye as I wrote this post.
Help Baghdad Pups: Ready for another tear-jerker? The street dog population in Baghdad is estimated at 1.2 million. Recently Iraqi authorities shot or poisoned more than 50,000 to alleviate the problem. What’s more – many U.S soldiers cope with their life at war, in part, by befriending the local animals. You can donate to the SPCAI’s Operation Baghdad Pups program, which provides veterinary care and finds ways to get these beloved animals back to the U.S to join troops when they return home – another place where these pets can offer a lot of comfort.
Donate: Another great option for those of you who can’t take in an animal now is to donate. Find a local dog shelter or animal rescue organization that you feel strongly about helping. Or, donate to one of the big animal rescue organizations like the ASPCA or the Humane Society of the United States.