Saturday, June 5, 2010

Save a Life: June is “Adopt-a-Shelter-Cat” Month

By Julia Williams

As an animal lover, I’ve always hoped I might live to see a day where very few cats and dogs languish in shelters waiting to find their forever home. Although the number of homeless animals is much smaller today than several decades ago, there are still far too many healthy animals in shelters that would make perfectly wonderful family pets. There’s no central data reporting agency for animal shelters at this time, but the Humane Society of the United States estimates that between six and eight million dogs and cats enter U.S. shelters every year, and only a fraction of those end up finding homes.

Those aren’t rosy statistics by any means. However, I prefer not to dwell on the negative but focus on the positive. Low cost spay-and-neuter programs, along with extensive public outreach and education, helps the numbers get smaller each year. And with generous companies like CANIDAE around to sponsor animal charities like the Pongo Fund Pet Food Bank, many more pets get to remain in their home instead of being surrendered to shelters.

I may not live to see that utopian day I dream about, but I can still celebrate the small victories. I can feel happy for those fortunate few shelter dogs and cats who do find loving homes. And lastly, I can encourage those who have room in their house and heart to visit their local animal shelter this month during Adopt-a-Shelter-Cat Month.

In order to raise awareness of all those healthy, affectionate felines who need homes, the ASPCA sponsors Adopt-a-Shelter-Cat each June. It’s timed to coincide with the start of “kitten season,” when shelters are inundated with beautiful feline babies born in the spring and summer.

Many animal shelters across the nation celebrate Adopt-a-Shelter-Cat Month by reducing the fee charged to place felines in their new forever homes. All of the shelter cats available for adoption have been spayed or neutered, and thoroughly evaluated by a veterinarian. All they need is to find a family.

Adopt-a-Shelter-Cat month is a purrfect time to fall in “feline love” with one of the millions of homeless cats living in animal shelters nationwide. Whether you prefer a young and frisky kitten or a cat that’s mellowed with age, you’re sure to meet your perfect match. After you fill out some paperwork, you can take your new friend home to discover the many benefits of being owned by a cat: happiness, companionship, amusement, never-ending purrs, and love that fills your heart to the brim.

This June, why not make your way to your local shelter to find the feline of your dreams!

Read more articles by Julia Williams

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