According to the humane society, between three and four million pets are euthanized in shelters each year. It is a mind boggling number, but still an improvement – in the past the number was 20 million. The really sad part is that many of these cats and dogs aren’t strays; they are surrendered by their owners. These pets used to have a home, and for different reasons their owners can’t or won’t keep them.
Every person’s life is more complicated than it appears at first glance. Some things are easy or self evident to one person, and difficult to someone else. Situations change – many pets are given up because their owners can’t afford their vet bills, or even become homeless.
Shelters around the country are stepping up to the challenge, and many now try to work with owners to help them keep their pets. Some need education – they might honestly believe that their dog is happier on a chain in the back yard than in the house – others need practical help, financial support for vet care, help with a pet deposit on a rental, or help with boarding a pet for a shorter period of time.
If the pet is surrendered to the shelter, one of two things can happen: either the pet is killed, or the shelter pays for medical care, food, toys, and the effort to find it a new home. Helping the original owner keep the pet is a win for everyone.