National Animal Shelter Appreciation Week recognizes the shelters providing care that bridges the gap to adoption for millions of abandoned and stray animals. The event takes place each year during the first full week in November. The observance also acknowledges the hard-working people who support the efforts of the shelters and keep pets healthy.
Even though dogs and cats are some of the most beloved pets in the United States, pet homelessness is a huge problem in the country. There are about 70 million stray animals in the United States. Up to 8 million of these animals end up in shelters. There are 3,500 animal shelters in the country. It’s at these animal shelters that pets receive a second chance. According to the ASPCA, over 3 million shelter animals are adopted each year.
Many animal shelters are non-profit. This means they depend on donations and grants to stay open. The primary function of an animal shelter is to find a home for stray animals. They also help to reunite lost pets with their owners. Other services some animal shelters provide include animal health services, behavioral evaluations, training, pet-sitting, grooming, and humane education.
People who work at animal shelters work tirelessly to help and save animals. They often work several hours with below-average pay. It’s not uncommon for them to advocate for animal rights.
Get to know your local animal shelter. Learn the types of support it needs to continue to provide services to the animals and community it serves. Let them know you appreciate them by leaving a donation. Consider volunteering or even adopting if you have been looking for a forever companion.
Find a local humane society. Do what you can to help control the pet population. Tell friends, family, and pet owners to get their pet spayed or neutered. Make sure every pet-owner you know has the appropriate ID. All cats and dogs should have a collar and a tag with their owner’s contact information. Pet microchipping is also an effective way to keep pets safe.
Use #AnimalShelterAppreciationWeek to share on social media.
The Humane Society of the United States founded National Animal Shelter Appreciation Week in 1996. They created this week to acknowledge and promote the role of animal shelters in communities all over the country. It’s also become a week to encourage the public to get acquainted with their local animal shelter and learn how they can help in saving the lives of animals.
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