Thousands of shelter dogs and cats can’t find their forever homes. The fortunate ones are housed in no-kill shelters while others face euthanization if they are not adopted within a certain amount of time. We recently read the story about how social media made a difference for one sad cat. In the city of Wenatchee, Washington, a kind of miracle happened. Donovan was a cat that was showcased in a social media blitz that went viral. The cat was photographed at an angle that made him look incredibly sad. When the person who posted his picture added that nobody wanted him and it made him really sad, it touched the hearts of thousands who liked it on the site, then shared it with all their friends. The result was a viral circulation of Donavan’s picture and his plea for help. The result was thousands of offers to adopt him and give him a forever home, according to NCW Life (https://www.ncwlife.com/donovan-the-sad-cat-gets-a-viral-assist-toward-adoption/). The Wenatchee Valley Humane Society staff are credited with the touching story that raised such a huge response. It only took one day for Donavan to find his pet parents and new forever home, and it shows the power of social media.
Alarming statistics for dogs and cats in need of adoption
According to Best Friends.org, Most states have an average of 11,000 dogs and cats on any given day that are at risk for euthanization and in need of adoption. Only one state operates shelters with a no-kill policy. The numbers are far higher in Texas and California with 95,000 animals at risk in each state. Several states in the southern United States have as many as between 30,000 to 95,000 animals in need of permanent homes or certain death. These are grim statistics and they need to be advertised for what they really are so people understand the need to adopt versus going to a breeder that may be operating a puppy or kitty mill to make money from the mass production of pets.
The No Kill 2025 initiative
The goal of Best Friends.org is to achieve a no-kill status by the year 2025, but as it stands the thousands of pets occupying animal shelters are not coming close to sheltering the massive numbers of unwanted animals. Dogs and cats are given a specified amount of time before they’re in line for euthanization. This is to make room for new strays brought in by animal control or dropped off by pet owners who either choose to not keep their pets because they’re unwanted or because they can no longer care for them. The no-call initiative is hopeful of achieving a minimum of 90 percent save rates by the year 2025, but it’s going to take a concentrated effort on the parts of pet lovers and animal activists throughout the nation.
What can be done to help reach a no-kill status in America?
Waggle sets an example of how rescue pets can be helped by the public through their advertisement strategies. Similar to Donavan’s social media attention, it’s important to get the word out there about the need. This organization raises funds to pay for medical treatment for dogs and cats in need of outstanding treatments. There is so much more that can be done, as we saw in Donovan’s case. There are television and radio stations that provide public service announcements. They invite speakers from local rescue shelters to talk to the public about specific pets, their good points, and when they’ll be available for adoption. If more pet lovers would forego the desire to buy a kitten or puppy and adopt a dog or cat from local shelters, the problem would be lessened dramatically. It’s imperative to have dogs and cats spayed and neutered to prevent more unwanted kittens and puppies from being brought into the world. Responsible pet owners can make a big difference in lowering the number of unwanted dogs and cats throughout the country.
Support your local pet shelters
Even if you cannot adopt a dog or cat into your home at this time, there is something that you can do to help. You can support your local rescue shelters by either volunteering your time, making donations of money to help out with the high costs of caring for unwanted dogs and cats, or both. When you see a post about an animal in need of adoption on your social media account, repost it so your friends can see it. This kind of advertisement has been proven to get results. When we all work together we can make a positive difference.
Donovan is a lucky cat who happened to land in a rescue shelter that is known for placing thousands of unwanted dogs and cats in their forever homes. Because of staff members who took the time to post a thoughtful photo of the sad-faced feline, with a few well-spoken words that tugged at our heartstrings, he found his forever home. This is something that we can all get involved with. Thousands of dogs and cats are awaiting adoption in rescue shelters. Most are awaiting a death sentence if nobody steps forward to take them in. It’s not intentional cruelty, it’s a matter of trying to save the lives of as many animals as possible. Adoption is the goal of these shelters, but we need to get the word out about these amazing potential companions with the capacity for receiving love and giving it back tenfold. We can help in the effort to move America to no-kill status by cutting down on the number of unwanted pets through spay and neuter, as well as through the adoption of pets from rescue shelters. In this case, it’s going to take a nation of caring supporters to make the dream a reality.