Puppies and kittens are really adorable. It’s pretty hard not to look into the face of one of these small cute creatures and not feel all warm and fuzzy inside.
There’s just one problem though — puppies and kittens grow up.
They are only small and adorable for a very short time compared with how long they are full grown adults. If you are not prepared for the responsibility when they grow up, you might not find them to be cute or want them around anymore.
My husband and I have recently adopted a dog from the Central Kentucky Regional Humane Society in Lancaster. His name is Stanley Mozart, but we call him “Mozzie” for short.
Mozzie is a 6-month-old English setter and chocolate lab mix and is one of the nicest, sweetest dogs you could hope to meet.
Not everyone appreciated this about Mozzie though, because he was abandoned outside of a Walmart where he lived for a couple of weeks before he was rescued by the humane society.
This handsome dog was left because his owners didn’t want him anymore. This sounds awful, and it is, but his story is nothing compared with other tales of abandonment and neglect from owners who don’t want their pets.
My friend adopted two dachshunds from a rescue that had saved them after they had been left in an apartment to die. When their owners moved out, they just left the dogs there to starve.
I’m sure everyone has seen stray dogs and cats running around with no home and no owner.
It’s not just the stray dogs and cats who are living unhappy lives — stray animals alter the food chains and environments where they live, creating complications and problems for the native wildlife that’s supposed to be there.
This is the awful situation many dogs and cats are put in every day. Luckily, there are shelters that try to rescue these animals and find them good homes, but even shelters only have so much space.
According to the ASPCA, community animal shelters take in about 5 million to 7 million cats and dogs every year.
Approximately 3 million to 4 million of those animals are euthanized. Of those with owners, only 15 to 20 percent of dogs and just 2 percent of cats get returned home. Something must be done about the millions and millions of animals out there.
There are a couple of ways to help with the problem of overpopulation of unwanted animals.
The first is to spay and neuter your pets. This will prevent unwanted pregnancies and unwanted kittens and puppies.
Another important way to act is by adopting from shelters or rescues whenever you decide to get a new pet. The animals at shelters and rescues really need a second chance and are just about as loving and sweet as you can find.
It’s also great to help support the mission of shelters, which is to help protect animals and find them good homes.
Avoid buying animals from “puppy mills,” where the main focus is selling animals and getting money, not the welfare of the animals.
Make sure if you don’t adopt from a shelter that you know where your animal is coming from.
Personally, I also won’t adopt from breeders because I don’t want to pay someone for producing more animals when there are already so many animals without homes.