Saturday, May 15, 2010
Rescue pets, please don't buy...
This is my late cat Chance, who found us...
If you were about to add a pet to your family, would you check out a pet rescue or head to a store?
There was an interesting story by the Associated Press this week that made me very happy.
In an Associated Press-Petside.com poll, more than half of the people queried said they would get their next dog or cat from a shelter — and that was about seven times the number who planned on buying that pet from a store.
Only 8 percent planned to buy a cat or dog at a store. Fifty-four percent of those polled said they would probably get their next pet from a shelter, while 23 percent opted for a breeder.
With so many cats, dogs and other critters waiting for a forever home, you have to wonder why in the world there are so many breeders out there adding to the population explosion.
And why people would either seek them out or head to a store for their next family member.
There also was a portion of the poll where people were asked where they obtained their present pets.
If they were like me, you need go no further than your doorstep.
All of the kitties living in our house right now found us. I swear there must be some kind of cat “underground railroad” system with hidden signs directing homeless cats to our door.
Something like “sucker, straight ahead,” no doubt.
But I digress. In this poll, 26 percent said their pets had come from breeders and 30 percent said shelters.
More than half of the people polled said their pets had been strays, gifts or the like.
I could identify with one women quoted: “I’ve probably had 50 dogs and all but two came walking up our driveway,” said Colleen Campbell, 71, of Fairview, Texas.
She lives in a rural area that’s infamous for its “drop-off” rate of unwanted animals. I’m not quite as bad as she is, however; she’s even taken in two donkeys that her vet said needed special care.
It takes a special kind of person to care for a special-needs pet, but they can be so loving that it can be well worth it.
Yes, we’ve been down that road as well a time or two.
But I hope others will consider this poll if they are looking for a furry friend. There are so many animals who would just love to call your house a home.
And we all know the horrors that have been uncovered where so many breeders are concerned.
Here’s something else to consider, whether you have a pet or not. Area rescue groups and the SPCA always need donations and volunteers. So why not consider giving of your time?
One group that’s near and dear to my heart — Stray Cat Blues — is facing a special need and perhaps you can help.
The local nonprofit cat rescue has kitty adoption cages at PetsMart, off Knapp Road, Montgomery Township, and needs volunteer cage cleaners for morning shifts (8 to 9:30 a.m.) Monday through Friday.
If you love cats and can spare about an hour and a half one or two mornings a week, the group certainly could use your help.
Keep in mind that cage cleaning is a physical activity— you have to stand to sweep out the 10 cages, scoop litter boxes, and fill food and water bowls.
But what great exercise!
Plus, you get to spoil the cats a bit.
If interested and available, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org, or call (215) 631-1851.
Just think how happy you’ll make those kitties. And remember, they’re all up for adoption, not for sale.