Confession time: When I was younger, I hated Bob Barker. Now first of all, “hate,” is a horrible word because, believe it or not, its profound negativity affects you when you use it, but in my young mind, I hated Bob Barker. As a child, my summer staples were swimming and watching The Price is Right over breakfast. If you recall, he used to end each episode of The Price is Right with, “have your pet spayed or neutered,” and instead of realizing that he was a strong animal advocate, I thought that he was trying to eradicate the world of cats and dogs, because if you spay and neuter your pets, then eventually we will run out of cats and dogs…right?
WRONG! NOT spaying and neutering pets is exactly what has caused our global pet overpopulation problem! We here at the ISF Creatures Division, however, are super excited to share with you how YOU can make a difference and become a solution to this overpopulation crisis. Every day, people introduce new pets into their household, and how that’s done can make a huge positive difference in the overpopulation problem. Let’s start with the basics…
What is the difference between fostering and adopting a pet?
When you foster a pet, you are providing temporary shelter and care for an animal that has nowhere else to go. As stated by Open Paws, while you are fostering them, the agency is still looking for a permanent forever home for them, and you are providing them with a loving, safe and healthy environment in the meantime. Adopting a pet means that, when the adoption process is complete, that animal is yours—forever. What is typically involved in a well-rounded and complete adoption process? Usually, some research by the future parents to determine what type of animal is best suited for them and their home environment. According to the Animal Humane Society, exploring available animals, visiting various adoption centers to determine compatibility, and an adoption application and interview, if nothing else, will likely occur. Adoption doesn’t stop there; microchipping, and spaying or neutering are amongst other things you must consider and act on.
Why is it so important that we have good, loving and reliable foster parents?
Take a look at some of these statistics provided by the ASPCA (warning: they will hurt your heart):
- Approximately 7.6 million companion animals enter animal shelters every year (approximately 3.9 million dogs and 3.4 million cats)
- Approximately 2.7 million are euthanized
- Approximately 2.7 million are adopted
- Approximately 35 percent of dogs that enter shelters are adopted, 31% are euthanized
- Approximately 37 percent of cats that enter shelters are adopted, 41% are euthanized
- “Less adoptable” pets (older cats and dogs, breeds that are victims of breed prejudice, specially-abled pets, fearful or shy animals, and black cats) can spend up to FOUR TIMES longer waiting for a forever home
After someone decides that a pet will be a great addition to his or her household, he or she can choose to foster an animal, which is a great way to make huge, positive impacts on a lot of lives. We are going to take a journey together over the next several months and when we’re done, you’re going to be empowered to make a huge difference in the lives of the many, many animals that find themselves in need of loving homes.
What can we do right now?
If you’re currently fostering an awesome animal (and if you are, THANK YOU!) share them with us on social media on Fridays with the hashtags #FosterFriday and #ISF. If you’re the parent of an amazing senior pet, share your baby with us on Sundays with the hashtags #SeniorSunday and #ISF, and tell us all the reasons they are so amazing (we know what a challenge that will be on Twitter with only 140 characters!)
See you all back here next month for the second installment of our Halfway to Home series!
Written by: Amanda
Photo Courtesy of Kate Harms
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