If you are reading this, you must be human, right? I’m going to assume yes; and as humans, it is our responsibility to protect and aid the animals that don’t have a voice to request the help they need. ASPCA reports there are millions of homeless animals in shelters that need rescuing and each year almost three million are euthanized because of lack of space and adoption.

When you think of adding a new pet to your home, do you automatically think about rescuing a homeless animal? We sure hope you do! These homeless animals, young and old, can be amazing additions to a family. Do you stay concerned about homeless animals but not ready to adopt? There are ways you can help too. Below are four facts regarding homeless animals and four ways you can try to help them.

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Animal Shelter Stunning Photo Booth Pictures to Help Find Loving Forever Homes for Dogs (VIDEO)Humane Society of Utah

Fact One: 

It is noted by ASPCA that only 10 percent of animals received by shelters are spayed or neutered. The average cost to spay or neuter an animal is less than caring for an animal for one year.

What You Can Do: Promote & Practice Spade & Neutering

With millions of homeless animals in shelters and millions being euthanized every year, how can we make this number dwindle? Spade and neuter! This is a proactive action to help these animals.

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Fact Two:

Six to eight million animals (cats and dogs) enter shelters each year while only about half of them are adopted.

What You Can Do: Donate Food, Money, Toys, or Your Time

Do you have a few extra bucks or maybe some toys your family pet(s) never took to? Can you grab an extra bag of dog/cat food? Donate – all is appreciated! The homeless animals need all the help they can get while they wait to be rescued! Do you have some free time on your hands or a specialty? Help the shelter or spend time with the animals to help them relax from their stressful environment.

While this is for the homeless animals, remember to keep track of your donations so that you can report it on your taxes at the end of the year; maybe this will influence you even more to keep donating!

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Indoors Versus Outdoors Cats: Is One Really Better Than the Other?Takuma Kimura/Flickr

Fact Three:

Only 30 percent of lost dogs in shelters are recovered by their family; only about 3 percent of missing cats are recovered by their loved ones. The rest must face possible euthanasia.

What You Can Do: Help the Lost

Image your precious cat Fluffy getting locked outside and running; image Teddy your dog wandering down the road … Now imagine they do not come home. Would you be scared for them? Would your heart be racing and hurting? Help those lost animals and their families when you see them; try to help ensure they make it back home so those animals don’t end up in a shelter locked away; possibly taking up valuable space that can cause more euthanasia.

Fact Four:

Only about 30 percent of animals who live in forever homes with family are actually rescued from shelters. The rest are purchased through breeders and pet stores which only contribute to the number of homeless pets in the U.S. Many people think that purchasing a pet is the best route to go, but they don’t recognize that in doing so they’re supporting cruel puppy mills and also potentially taking a forever home away from a shelter animal.  That percentage should be higher, don’t you agree? Around 25 percent of dogs waiting for a forever home in shelters are purebred, so why bother with a breeder to begin with!

What You Can Do: Promote Knowledgeable Articles and Facts through Your Social Media

Are you a great marketer, yes or no? Who cares – get the word out any way you can to as many as you can. If you see an article that makes you think, touches your heart, or scares you for animals, SHARE IT! If you have a social platform, use it to bring awareness to those you know! Even just sharing pictures of you and your own rescue animal can change someone else’s perception of what shelter animals are like. You never know what good a single note sent via social media can do for an animal in need!

Timmy the puppy now has a loving home. No more chains for him! Photo courtesy of ASPCA.ASPCA

Consider Rescuing to Save a Life

Does your house seem a little quiet these days? Maybe it’s time to add a new personality to the family? Check out homeless animals at shelters near you! There are so many that need a home – heck, maybe you have room for two! All need saving just don’t forget, the older pets are at a higher risk of losing their lives, but they still make great additions to the family.
We can all play a role in helping to lower the number of homeless animals on the streets. As animal lovers and pet guardians alike, our collective efforts can start building a better future for our furry best friends!

Lead image source: Jonathan Silverberg/Flickr