The third Saturday of August is designated as International Homeless Animals' Day. The event was started by the International Society for Animal Rights (ISAR) which is an animal welfare group. According to MetLife Pet Insurance, one of the group’s main programs is related to “reducing the deaths of dogs and cats that occur due to overpopulation.”
In the US, events such as adoption fairs to dog walks to spay and neuter clinics, are used to promote awareness. We can have a local impact on pet overpopulation. Let’s highlight some of the ways you can take part in reducing the number of homeless animals and decreasing overpopulation.
First, spay or neuter your pets. This is the most direct impact you can have on preventing overpopulation and keeping unwanted pets out of shelters. Other ways you can reduce shelter capacity include fostering shelter pets.
Pets are often stressed and do not behave as they would normally when in a shelter. Keeping a pet in a foster home reduces stress and allows potential adopters to see the pet as they would typically behave. It also makes for an easier transition from a foster home to a forever home. Moving from a shelter directly into an adopter’s home can take a toll on both the pet and the new pet parent. The pet will spend more time decompressing which can result in some pets being returned before they have had time to adapt.
You can also serve as an animal advocate to encourage reduced shelter capacity through microchip programs, spay and neuter programs, and rescue groups and fostering programs. Each one of us can help keep the number of homeless animals low. One day, we might reach the point where shelters are no longer a capacity. Let us know how you plan to take part in Homeless Animals’ Day.