Skip to content

Ways to help an overburdened animal shelter – Stettler Independent

Spring is here and with it comes good weather and the desire to go outdoors. The season may be a coincidence, but lately there seems to be an overflow on social media from overwhelmed local animal shelters pleading with people to consider adoption.

I love sad puppy dog ​​eyes and wish I could give a new furry friend a home. It would be much loved and enjoyed, that’s for sure, but in the end reason wins and I know it’s not a good time right now.

Unfortunately, that knowledge comes from experience.

When we bought our new house six years ago, I was excited to fulfill my lifelong wish of having a dog; it could finally happen. With my husband preferring a sweet looking pup, and me instantly transfixed by an older dog who seemed to look into my soul, we ended up adopting them both.

While it turned out we bit off more than we could chew, there seemed to be no limit to what these two friends could gobble up—literally, from a couch, to the shoes I wore to my wedding, to a treasured childhood toy. I had had it since I was five years old.

Through no fault of their own, those two pups had some issues that we just weren’t equipped to handle at the time.

Twice-daily walks, time outside, and plenty of toys just weren’t enough for these two energetic, intelligent dogs. In the end, even though it was one of the hardest decisions we’ve ever made, it was ultimately kinder to let them go. We hope they are happier where they are, but we still miss them several years later.

We are also completing repairs to some of the damage done to our home by our canine friends. The advice I’ve been given when “puppy fever” sets in is to go hug a hole in our wall, to remind myself of the realities of owning a dog.

I tell this story, not to discourage people from adopting worthy dogs; just the opposite. Just take my experience as a cautionary tale and make sure you’re ready first so you can get off to the best possible start with your new best friend.

Owning a dog is a big responsibility, so there are a few things you should consider to ensure you are fully prepared to take on all that dog ownership entails before bringing home a new member of your family.

Bringing home a new dog shouldn’t be an impulse purchase. It’s a significant financial commitment, as well as a time consideration of how much effort you’re actually willing and able to put into training and exercise.

Some tips to prepare are: Be prepared to spend upwards of $2,000 when you first bring Fido home for adoption fees, kennels, leashes, food bowls, other supplies you’ll need, and booster shots at the vet, etc.

Make sure your dog has a safe, fully enclosed outdoor space where he can run and stretch his legs, without needing to be tied up for long periods of time, as well as a comfortable, warm indoor space that he can call his own.

Pet insurance may be another thing you’ll want to consider, as well as budget for ongoing costs.

If you’re an animal lover whose heart is racing to invade shelters, but you can’t currently adopt a dog or cat, there are other ways to support local shelters.

They are always in need of food and supplies. Please consider making a monetary donation or leaving pet food. Your shelter may have a preference based on your current needs, such as old blankets or towels, so don’t be afraid to ask if you’re not sure.

While you may not be in a position to adopt, it doesn’t take long to share a post, and who knows? Maybe one of your contacts falls in love with a prominent dog and makes a great match.

Adopting a dog or cat, if possible, can also be extremely helpful for local shelters to ease their burden and allow them to make room for more animals in need.

If you already own a pet, it’s a good idea to spay or neuter your cat or dog to reduce the chance of unwanted animals.

If you’re looking for a dog in the market, consider adopting from a shelter instead of buying from a breeder.

While I don’t think there’s necessarily anything wrong with buying from a reputable breeder, there are plenty of dogs in shelters just waiting for homes. Keep in mind, however, that the shelter may not know each dog’s full history, so you’ll need to commit to dealing with any baggage they may bring.

Before you bring a dog home, it’s a good idea to do some research on dog training techniques, or where you can find local training support.

There are many wonderful rescue dogs out there that deserve a chance, and if you can’t offer them a home, remember that there are still plenty of ways you can help.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.