Note to out-of-area readers: please steal these ideas
Quietly laboring among us, day and night, a small group of tenderhearted people pick up a steady stream of helpless handoffs from others. These folks don’t complain; they just meet the need that others refuse to. These handoffs have been handed around for various reasons, often simply for being alive and considered a nuisance. They didn’t ask to come into the world. But their kind has been domesticated by mankind, trained for centuries to rely upon us for food and shelter and direction. Today, we are letting them down. They are the unwanted pets of irresponsible people, and they are the moral responsibility of us all.
The December newsletter from the Humane Society of Harrison County said that last year 3800 healthy, adoptable pets were euthanized by Harrison Co. Animal Control; 800 were saved by the no-kill shelter. Monongalia County Adoption Center had to euthanize 1503 unwanted pets (by five people, nice job, eh?) in the same time period because of the volume. Marion County Humane Society announced in December they have enough funds to operate for 30 days, after which they may have to close. And this, despite dozens of other rescue groups who help them all with the overflow.
Each of us can do something to lighten their burden, easily. Starting now, through your club, church, or individually, commit some small, practical effort to handling the unwanted pet population problem in north central West Virginia. Print this article, with the following suggestions, and take it to your next group or board meeting. Too many unwanted pets is a human irresponsibility problem: the few dozen folks at these shelters cannot shoulder the burden alone. They need the rest of us, whether we are pet lovers or not.
1. Allocate some amount in your budget, however small, for your favorite shelter on a monthly or annual basis.
2. Have your group commit to a specific project or duty, on a regular basis, to aid local animal welfare workers. Contact them to see how their needs match your generosity.
3. Offer your building or grounds for obedience training, or adoption/collection/yard sale events. Do it on a work day or picnic day to save yourself additional time commitment.
4. Churches, hold a Bible study on kind, responsible stewardship, God’s instruction to mankind in Genesis, where He saw after making each creature that “It was good.” The book “Answers About Pets from the Bible – It’s All Good!” is a good place to start, but don’t stop there.
5. Of course, spay, neuter and love your own pets. Adopt or rescue a pet if you can. Be prepared to give them quality time with you, safe and comfortable living quarters, and basic vaccination and flea/tick control. Consider very carefully breeding your pet while hundreds sit in line to die at local shelters. If you can’t or don’t want to do these things, do the right thing and don’t take them into your home in the first place.
The problems of the world bombard us every day. Maybe we can’t help wars in Afghanistan or wicked politicians starving their own people in many places. But we CAN reduce the number of innocent lives snuffed out by euthanasia – at the hands of reluctant neighbors – in our own back yard.