homeless animals seek adoption and care

Since 1992, the International Society for Animal Rights (ISAR) has promoted the International Homeless Animals’ Day to be celebrated on the third Saturday in August. The main objective is to provide a solution to the problem of overcrowding of domestic animals found on the street.


The abandonment of pets


Around the world, the statistics of pets that are abandoned or live on the streets are truly alarming. In 2014, the Affinity Foundation revealed that in Spain alone, 16 domestic animals are abandoned every hour, which is equivalent to more than 140,000 pets a year.


There are three main reasons why people abandon their pets.


1. Financial problems. Many people adopt or acquire a pet, without considering the level of expense and maintenance that it entails. Animals need to be fed, vaccinated, bathed, dewormed, as well as receive other types of treatment or care. When some owners realize all the investment involved, they prefer to leave the animal on the street.


2. Birth control. This occurs mainly in those owners who have a female, either a cat or a dog. If the pet is not acquired for reproductive purposes, it is advisable to wait for the second heat to sterilize it and thus avoid the arrival of unexpected litters.


3. Lack of knowledge of the animal. In this case, what causes the abandonment is how demanding or unmanageable the animal becomes. For example, it occurs when an angora cat is given to a child, but later it is discovered that the boy is allergic to cat hair.


3 concrete actions: Adopt, care, sterilize


The overcrowding of companion animals and their abandonment lead to the overcrowding of animal shelters. But that situation can be prevented in three steps.


1. Adopt. In kennels and shelters, thousands of dogs and cats await a new home. Most of these animals had the bad luck that, when they grew up or made a mischief, their owners no longer loved them and left them on the street. Now they await a new opportunity, under the care of responsible people.


2. Take care. It is necessary to take care of all the physical and mental needs of your pet: balanced diet, fresh water, a safe place to sleep, enough space to move, a daily walk, games to be entertained and keep him company. If you have to travel or for other reasons you cannot take care of it for a few days, leave it with someone you trust, who knows about animals of its species; or find a specialized daycare. Take care of it as any living being deserves.


3. Sterilize. It is an effective way to control the overpopulation of dogs and cats. With a routine operation, your pet will stop being in heat, territorial marking will cease (urinate in certain places in the house) and it will be able to develop normally. To sterilize it is to hold you responsible not only for its sexual health, but also for a public problem of overcrowding and neglect. Although you can try to find a home for your dog or cat’s puppies, you can never be totally sure that the puppy will reach a good home, where they will take care of it until the end of its days.


What can we do to commemorate this day?


The organizations that promote the care and rights of animals worldwide, usually organize different activities on this date, such as: pet adoption campaigns, vaccination, neutering and sterilization days, talks in schools and veterinary clinics, distribution of informational brochures, radio programs, exhibitions and charity campaigns.


We can all help in this crusade: volunteering at an animal shelter; organizing a collection to get food and materials to the centers that welcome pets; or by spreading the message through our social networks, so that people stop abandoning their pets and remember that by adopting a dog or cat, they have acquired a new member of their family for which they are responsible.


By: Juan Carlos Ugarelli

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