As Mahatma Gandhi once said, “The greatness of a nation and its moral progress can be judged by the way its animals are. treated.” While America is starting to catch on to the vast and troubling swamp of animal welfare issues, the road to change is longer than ever. The emerging passionate voices of our youth bring opportunity for awareness and ultimately a change in course for the creatures of this nation. Pet overpopulation looms over us like a black cloud, threatening to “rain cats and dogs” with no end in sight. Thousands of homeless pets flood our shelters with little hope of ever becoming part of a loving family. These furry, purring, wagging and loving creatures we have allowed into our lives as friends have slipped into the bottom of our society’s priorities. Between irresponsible pet owners, rising cases of animal cruelty, unscrupulous breeders and kill shelters, the very worth of an animal’s life has vanished into heartbreaking statistics and gut wrenching news stories.
An average of eight million homeless animals—about one every eight seconds—are put down in U.S. shelters each year. As dismal and hopeless as this may sound, through pet adoption and rescue that number can steadily decrease. For every animal you adopt, it allows another to be saved. Adopting, rather than buying, discourages breeders from bringing thousands more dogs into our world…for a price. The price is becoming too high. That price is being paid, not by you…but ultimately by the animals themselves. Having your pets spayed and neutered is another indispensable part of the solution. Shelters are brimming with unwanted litters and discarded pets deemed dispensable. Although these innocent creatures could make for cherished lifelong friends, they soon dissolve into another tragic story swept under the rug.
Those animals that escape the horrors of shelter life see one of few fates. While some four-legged friends nuzzle their way into hearts and homes, others find themselves back at the shelter or worse; they are left at the hands of neglect and abuse. Some cases we hear of mistreated animals are so blatant that we assume the consequences are judiciously doled out, while others are so subtle that easy and innovative solutions do not occur to us. Animal neglect and cruelty are obvious crimes, which we know are punishable by law and assume that justice is done. Sadly, this is not always the case.
Conversely, it is easy to overlook an animal’s potential when they are not in immediate danger. Recognizing and harnessing the indescribable relationship rendered by the intelligence and healing powers of animals must not be underestimated. Rescuing an animal who, in turn, becomes more of our savior than his is a feeling common among all real animal lovers. To realize just how much they can heal the wounds of the human race just ask a senior whose new pet makes her once lonely days a joy. Ask a blind man how he feels about his guide dog. Ask children who can see straight into the hearts of these animals what they see and feel about their furry friends. They see the visions we have lost somewhere along our journey. This mistreatment of animals hurts not only our fellow companion creatures, but it leaves a dark and haunting stain on our collective conscience as Americans. We can do better for ourselves and better for our animal population that is bursting with unconditional love, loyalty and a hope that we can help.
We must speak up for those who cannot and refuse to be silenced.
Upcoming Areas of Focus
- Habitat & Extinction
- Empowerment of 'NO KILL' Shelters
- Species specific sterilization
- Assistive & Therapy Animals
With the domestication of animals comes a responsibility and a partnership. They are fulfilling their part of the bargain. It is high time that we fulfill ours.
Become AWARE ~ Support ANIMAL WELFAIR (For Animals’ Inalienable Rights)