*I was inspired to write this while watching Animal Cops: Detroit
Have you ever heard of the Humane Society animal shelters? Chances are you have one in your very town or city! The Humane Society is a national organization that has shelters geared towards the comfort and well being of all animals brought to them. Most shelters do not have law enforcement as part of their staff, unlike those featured on Animal Planet, but that doesn’t stop them from legally seizing abused animals from awful conditions, or giving life saving surgery to a cat with a fishing hook stuck in their paw. The Humane part of Humane Society means that, among other things, all H.S. shelters are no-kill. That means that all the animals that are brought or taken to them stay there until adoption or natural death.
A ‘Kill Shelter’ is a shelter that puts inhabitant animals to sleep after they have stayed in a cage or slotted space for more than the alloted time without meing adopted. This has been protested against by thousands of people across the United States because this doesn’t give all the animals a fair chance at lfie or adoption, or even foster care, which certainly is a very viable option for many animals. The shelters put their animals to sleep, partially because they are taking up space neededd for others, though that isnt a good reason, even if the shelter is low on funding, but also because younger kittens and puppies have a better chance of being adopted. The reason for that is as follows: If a younger couple is looking for a pet – say they have a four year old daughter at home- they’ll naturally lean towards an easily domesticated animal verses one who has matured distrustful and afraid of humans. It takes a rare person willing to adopt an older cat or dog, the two main animals placed in shelters.
Another problem with kill shelters is that many people don’t know about their local Humane Society, so they only take their unwanted or discovered pets to the other shelter, the one that doesn’t let the animals live past six weeks. There is an abundance of kittens and puppies, as very few owners actually spay and neuter their pets .This leads to a booming reproduction rate that leaves hundreds of baby animals homeless and abandoned because their owners never bargained that they would have this number of animals to deal with. The average size of a feline litter is 4 to 5 kittens, with about a 35-4 day gestation period. The dog’s litter is usually 3-4 puppies. That’s a lot of required time and energy to deal with these many hyper, energetic baby animals at once.
Do you think this is wrong, to kill animals simply because they haven’t been adopted yet? No. This is no excuse for animal cruelty, because there are foster programs and plenty of people who are willing to adopt.
Here are some things you can do to help:
1.) Research your local humane society location and see if you can volunteer to spread the word and/or volunteer with the cats and dogs that have been placed there.
2.) Make flyers/print some out from an online website encouraging pet owners to spay/neuter their pets
3.) Raise money for your local Humane Society Animal Shelter! This can be super fun if you can get a group of friends together to have a bake sale or a car wash.
4.) Watch Animal Cops on Animal Planet to get a better understanding of what Humane Societies do. WARNING: viewer discretion is advised, only because some of the animals they rescue have been abused awfully or have been rescued from very bad situations.
But above all, love your pets hat you have at home, and take good care of them so they’ll never have to end up in an animal shelter.
-Katherine Flynn, Author at Bonsai