Canada is a nation full of pet lovers, but recent research shows that many communities need some guidance on how to help solve the homeless problem.
The 2014 Shelter Pet Report (by PetSmart Charities of Canada) found that while 73 per cent of people say that pet homelessness is at least somewhat important to them, an equal number of people admit that they don’t do anything to solve the issue.
With the following simple steps you can make a difference today:
1. Adopt your next pet. The largest motivator for adopting is to save a little life. Did you know that an estimated 70,000 pets are euthanized every year in Canada? By choosing adoption we can all work together to decrease this number.
2. Spay/neuter your pets. Unplanned litters are the main source of pet overpopulation. By increasing access to spay/neuter services and spreading the word about how important fixing your pet is, you can reduce pet overpopulation from the start.
3. Help stray pets. If you notice stray cats in your neighbourhood, call your local animal welfare organization to see if they offer trap-neuter-return (TNR) programs. TNR is an innovative program that allows street cats to live out their normal lives without the risk of being euthanized in shelters.
4. Donate to animal welfare organizations: Championing this effort is PetSmart Charities of Canada, for example. It funds hundreds of local animal welfare groups that offer adoption and spay/neuter programs.
5. Spread the word: By helping pet lovers get more involved with local shelters and rescues, we can help find a lifelong, loving home for every pet.
Shelter and rescue groups say that if communities work together we can all end pet homelessness in a generation. More information is available online at petsmartcharities.org.