As you’re ringing out the old and ringing in the new tonight, consider adding a resolution to your list that will help homeless pets in your community. Here are some resolutions to think about:
1. ID your Pets. Every day, here at the SPCA-BC, lost pets find their way to our shelter. Many of them are never reunited with their families because they have no identification. Don’t let this happen to your pets. Start with a sturdy, snug-fitting collar. If you can slide it over your pet’s head, it is too loose. Remember that as your pet’s weight changes, you need to readjust the collar to insure it is not too tight or too loose. Then firmly attach an identification tag. Check your pet’s tags periodically to make sure that your phone number is current and legible. We see many pets at our shelter with id tags, but the information is worn off. Then, MICROCHIP your pet. Microchips are your pet’s best bet at getting returned to you. A microchip is a small identifying chip about the size of a grain of rice that is implanted just under the skin between your pet’s shoulder blades. Even if your pet’s tags fall off, the microchip will still be there. If your pet ever ends up in a shelter, the shelter staff will be able to contact you immediately. Some animal control officers can even scan for microchips in their vehicles and return pets before they are ever impounded. Microchips at the SPCA-BC only cost $22.50–a small amount to pay for peace of mind. Once you have your pet microchipped, be sure to keep your phone number updated with the microchip company.
2. Walk with a Buddy. Is one of your New Year’s Resolutions to lose weight? Why not leash up your pooch and take on that challenge together with daily walks and play time? Or better yet, come up to the shelter at 141 Canna Lane in Lake Jackson, borrow an exercise buddy, and you’ll never have to walk alone again. The Wilderness Trail is right around the corner from us, or you can hit the track at MacLean Park. You’ll be getting fit, and giving a homeless pet much needed exercise at the same time. . . it’s a win-win!
3. Make Adoption Your Only Option. Next time you are considering adding a pet to your family, adopt a homeless pet. We have pets of all shapes, sizes, and ages, and every one of them is waiting for a loving home. We have full-bred dogs and cats, puppies, and kittens, and mixes of all kinds. We also frequently have rabbits, guinea pigs, ferrets, birds, and just about any other pet you can imagine. Adopting a homeless pet saves TWO lives–the one you adopt, and the one who gets the newly-vacant kennel space. Whoever said “money can’t buy you love,” never paid an adoption fee.
4. If you can’t Adopt, then Foster. Fostering a pet gets it out of the shelter. No matter how hard we try, we can’t completely eradicate the threat of disease or the stress that comes with living in a shelter environment. Puppies and kittens and pregnant dogs and cats are particularly vulnerable. A pet that is already sick may need a home where she can recuperate quietly. Fostering does not have to be a huge commitment. Let a homeless pet live in your bathroom or garage for just a few weeks, and you may be able to save her life.
5. Volunteer. Whatever it is that you love to do, we can use that skill at the shelter! Walking dogs and playing with cats are part of the job that our volunteers do, but we can also use MICRO-VOLUNTEERS. Work at one event. Take a few photos of shelter pets for our Facebook page. Tweet for us. Network and share our information. Work at one spay neuter clinic. Be a “Pet Detective” to help reunite lost pets with their families. Organize a donation drive. Enter data. Make copies. File papers. Deliver Ani-Meals. Whatever it is that you do best, you can do it for us and make a difference in the lives of homeless pets!
6. Donate. Time, money, stuff. It doesn’t matter, we’ll take whatever you can give. If you have a few bucks, we can put it to good use. If you have old blankets, toys, pet beds, leashes, we can use them. If you are decluttering your home or office, our thrift store can sell your old stuff and use the proceeds to spay and neuter pets! Speaking of spay and neuter. . .
7. Spay or Neuter Your Pets! If your pets are already spayed or neutered, offer to spay or neuter a friend or neighbor’s pet. The only way to completely end pet homelessness is to stop allowing our pets to indiscriminately reproduce. Every pet born into this world adds to the pet overpopulation problem. Spaying or neutering your pet is one of the greatest gifts you can give your pet, your family, and your community. Find out more about our low-cost spay neuter program and the benefits of spay neuter by clicking on our “Low-Cost Spay Neuter Clinic” tab above.
8. Provide Healing Care. Every day animals enter our shelter in need of life-saving medical care. Some have urgent injuries and illnesses that need immediate attention, and some need simple veterinary care to help them become healthy again. Your donations can truly save a life. You can send donations directly to us earmarked for veterinary care, or you can deposit funds into our SPCA-BC account at one of our partner veterinarians. Most of our partner veterinarians work with us with discounted rates, so your funds can go a long way toward helping our shelter pets get the medical care they so desperately need.
9. Most of all, love and enjoy the pets you have. If you invest time in your pets, they will reward you ten-fold with unconditional love and loyalty. Pets who spend a lot of time with their human families are better-behaved and become better companions. Just as children need love and gentle discipline to learn, dogs and cats thrive when you gently guide them to be the pets you want them to be. A dog banished to the backyard lives a lonely existence. Bring them inside and share your home and life with them. If you need tips on training or behavior problems, give us a call. We want to help you and your pets have the best lives possible.
Here’s to 2013! May it be a GREAT year for people and their pets! We wish you love and blessings.