In my last essay I informed people that scientists, mostly lab-bound researchers, finally declared that nonhuman animals (animals) are conscious. Duh, I could hear echoing around the world. The very data on which these researchers based their conclusion have been around for ages so it's nice that this small group decided to let the world know what they thought, a conclusion that supported what most others, including numerous researchers, have thought or really known for ages. Included in the group of animals they declared to be conscious beings are "all mammals and birds, and many other creatures, including octopuses". These animals are capable or experiencing a wide array of emotions ranging from joy and pleasure to grief, sadness, and misery.
Dogs, cats, and other mammals who are also favored companion animals (aka pets) often find themselves homeless. Indeed, millions of animals who also are companion animals are homeless. While it's difficult to know just how many homeless animals there are, it's been estimated by the ASPCA that "Approximately 5 million to 7 million companion animals enter animal shelters nationwide every year, and approximately 3 million to 4 million are euthanized (60 percent of dogs and 70 percent of cats). Shelter intakes are about evenly divided between those animals relinquished by owners and those picked up by animal control. These are national estimates; the percentage of euthanasia may vary from state to state."
Stray animals also need to be taken into account. It's impossible to know how many stray dogs and cats there are in the United States but it's been estimated there may be as many as 70 million stray cats. I've been told by more than one person that about 75% of all dogs in the world are stray or homeless. I haven't been able to verify this number but even if it were halved it would be a large and unacceptab;e number. In the UK alone more than 120,000 stray dogs were picked up over a recent 12 month period with more than 7500 having to be "put down". The number is on the rise. In Detroit, Michigan there are at least 50,000 stray dogs (additional data can be found here). The numbers are staggering and sickening and we can do something about this horrible situation.
Clearly, there's a major problem with homeless/stray animals worldwide. Many people are more concerned with dogs and cats who find themselves without a safe home in which to live and thrive but of course other animals including hamsters, gerbils, guinea pigs, rabbits, and a wide variety of birds, fish, reptiles, and amphibians are also homeless. These are all conscious beings who care about what happens to them and they deserve much better care.
I just received a notice from the group called Advancing the Interests of Animals (from which the teaser image is taken) that August 18, 2012 is International Homeless Animals Day. They list a number of ways we can help these homeless individuals. These include:
-- Adopt Don't Buy. Animals in shelters and at rescue groups are waiting for you to give them a loving home! Pet store and online animals are usually sick and come from large and awful commercial breeding facilities. Don't support this cruelty.
-- Spay/neuter your companion animal(s) and encourage others to do the same!
-- Donate or volunteer at your local animal shelter or rescue group(s).
-- Foster. Become a foster parent to a dog or cat and help find them their forever home.
-- Help strays in your community! Carry food/water and a leash and adjustable collar in your car.
-- Educate yourself about homeless animals and all the ways you can alleviate their suffering. Understand the problems with dog/cat overpopulation and what you can do to help.
Each of us can make a difference in the lives of these needy beings and help to make their lives far better than they are. Saving sentience is really easy to do and I encourage everyone to do what they can. This coming Saturday is a perfect day to begin, or even sooner.
Essay on My Love for Animals Led to Helping Shelters
581 Words3 Pages
Growing up I was one of those kids that would find abandoned or lost animals on the street and run home crying and begging my mom if we could please keep it, the answer was usually no but we would always check for a collar or tags then take it back home or call the animal shelters to come pick the lost pet up. The older I got the more I began to realize how many animals the shelters in my community and surrounding area had to take in and care for and how much of a financial and emotional drain it could be on the workers, of course I wanted to do my part to help these poor innocent animals and I began volunteering after school and during the summer whenever I had the chance. This experience showed me both the good and the bad of what animal…show more content…
Growing up I was one of those kids that would find abandoned or lost animals on the street and run home crying and begging my mom if we could please keep it, the answer was usually no but we would always check for a collar or tags then take it back home or call the animal shelters to come pick the lost pet up. The older I got the more I began to realize how many animals the shelters in my community and surrounding area had to take in and care for and how much of a financial and emotional drain it could be on the workers, of course I wanted to do my part to help these poor innocent animals and I began volunteering after school and during the summer whenever I had the chance. This experience showed me both the good and the bad of what animal shelters have to handle and deal with everyday, from feeding, cleaning, adoptions, medical care, general upkeep, and how expensive it was to protect and help these animals. I began to see that as the years progressed less people wanted shelter dogs and the shelters quickly became over populated and had trouble finding ways to lessen their load. Many of the animal shelters in the United States face this same exact problem and are overwhelmed by the number of unwanted pets. There are many things that could lessen the strain such as mandatory spaying and neutering for pets that will not be used for breeding, tougher penalties to cut back on the number of dogs brought into shelters because of animal abuse, and having shelters hold adoption