Jan 24th is Change A Pet’s Life Day and while we affect the lives of our own pets everyday, let’s think about the pets outside of our homes and how we can have a positive effect on their lives.
The stray dog issue in Detroit has been receiving quite a bit of news coverage over the last year and things with Detroit Animal Control reached a head at the beginning of the year, leading to the director stepping down.
While it’s easy to throw stones in glass houses, it’s not productive. The fact of the matter is, there are dogs in need and pointing fingers at who’s to blame isn’t going to help them. But here’s a few things you can do to change a pets life:
- Prevent Excessive Population: Educate yourself and others about what it means to be a responsible pet owner, including the responsibility to spay and neuter your pets. Spaying by 4 months of age prevents unwanted litters of pets. It can also keep dogs from running away from their homes and becoming strays (keep those hormones under control!)
- You can contribute to preventing strays by being responsible for your own pets sterilization, educating others, and donating to rescue groups who provide sterilization services.
- Keep A Pet In Their Home: Life happens and people fall on hard times, and sometimes those people have pets. When it comes down to feeding your children or feeding your dog and cat, pets are left to fend for themselves, some end up on the streets. Instead of passing judgment on someone being forced to abandon their pet, help them out by donating to local rescue groups who provide assistance to needy families. It’s much more affordable to keep a pet in his existing home than it is to find another family to love him. Donating toward supplies, sterilization, i.d. tags, microchips and care (food and supplies) could enable a family to keep their beloved pet.
- Donate your time: Not everyone may be able to financially support a rescue group or even a single dog. But everyone has the ability to give of themselves and your time and effort is priceless to groups in need. Every dog that’s taken off the street has to be given shelter, food, medical care and affection/attention. They need to be loved and walked and fed and cleaned up after. They might need someone to sit with them after surgery, someone who can just sit with them until they learn that not all humans are bad. If you aren’t really sure you can handle the hands on aspect of animal rescue, you can still volunteer! There are always kennels to be cleaned, dishes to be washed, something to clean, errands to be run, and laundry to do (just to name a few!)
- Open your home: So you may not be able to personally save every single dog in need but you can open your home to 1 pet in need and make a difference in that pets life. A shelter is really no place for a dog to live but it sure is better than living on the streets. Opening your home to be a foster family gives dogs who are at high risk for euthanasia a fighting chance at finding a fur-ever family. Maybe you aren’t prepared for the lifelong commitment of a pet of your own, but being a temporary foster could drastically improve and even save a pets life.
- Save your change to change a pets life: even pocket change can be put to good use. There are even shopping programs who will donate a percentage of your purchase to a rescue group of your choice. Incentive programs like Kroger rewards and Amazon wishlists can make a difference to a rescue group with you barely even realizing it. You can also save your change and donate your piggy bank, donate cans and bottles or even consider donating items like blankets, comforters, towels and other gently used items to a rescue group instead of tossing them out. Leashes, collars, food bowls, toys, bones, treats, food, towels, laundry detergent, paper towel, bleach and cleaning supplies are items rescues are always in need of. Even your old (non-shiny) newspapers can be useful to a rescue group. Check out the wish-lists for our local rescues and see what items you have that might benefit a dog in need.
Looking for a local rescue group you can help? Check out some of our friends at:
- All About Animals Rescue
- C.A.R.E. Rescue
- Detroit Dog Rescue
- The Grosse Pointe Animal Adoption Society
- Home Fur-Ever
- Midwest Small Breed Animal Rescue