Be a Part of the Solution
You can be a part of the solution!
“Adopt, if you can’t adopt, foster, if you can’t foster, volunteer, if you can’t volunteer, donate, if you can’t donate, educate”
Adopting from a no-kill shelter is the best way to help end pet homelessness, and also our favorite solution here at Strachan Strays! Opening your home and heart to shelter animals will change your and their lives forever. You are giving these animals a well deserved second chance. At responsible shelters, an adoption process will entail certain requirements to ensure that every pet adopted, is not only going to a good home, but also to their forever home. The most common requirements are:
- Filling out an application.
- Meeting an age requirement.
- Providing a personal reference that the shelter can call.
- A meet and greet with all family members to ensure that the pet and potential adopters are comfortable with each other.
- “Home Checks” are often performed to ensure that your residence is a suitable environment to care for and raise your specific pet.
*Please keep in mind that all shelters may differ in their requirements for approving an adoption.
Fostering an animal is a great way to get involved with a local shelter and to “be a part of the solution.” By opening your heart and your home to an animal while he waits for his forever home, you can provide countless benefits to a dog or cat in need. Foster homes are used for several reasons:
- Pregnant cats and dogs can be fostered to provide a calm and relaxing environment where they can be cared for before and after giving birth.
- Fostering an animal simply provides the local shelter with room to rescue and care for another animal in need.-Animals recovering from illness or surgery often benefit from a foster home. Foster parents can administer medication and provide more one on one attention in a quieter environment.
- Very young puppies and kittens without mothers need special attention.
- It’s a great trial period to see if you are ready for the responsibility of a pet! We LOVE when people become “foster failures.” A foster failure is someone who fosters a pet and while in their care makes the decision to adopt that pet into their family forever.
- If you are interested in fostering, contact your local no-kill shelter. Keep in mind that the majority of shelters will cover food and veterinary costs.
Volunteers are integral to the day-to-day operation of shelters. Many positions at shelters are volunteer based and rely solely on outside help to keep them running. Some of the volunteer opportunities are:
- Dog walking and cat socialization
- Administrative support
- Grooming and bathing the animals
- Cleaning kennels, and doing laundry
- Offsite adoption events
- Special events and fundraisers
Please note that some shelters require you to attend a meeting or class before you can start working with the animals. This is to insure that you and the animal remain safe during your interaction. Contact your local shelter for their rules and guidelines to volunteer.
Before adopting, we urge you to educate yourself about pet ownership. Bringing a new best friend into your life is exciting, but it also comes with new responsibilities. Understanding these responsibilities beforehand can make the adoption process much smoother, and prevent these animals from being returned to the shelter. Remember that you are adopting a living being that will depend on your care daily!
- Educate Yourself: Research, research, research is the name of the game. Books and Internet searches will help in not only finding your perfect pet but also help in raising them. We also recommend taking a trip down to your local shelter to see just how many amazing animals are in need of a good home.
- Educate Others: You can help end pet homelessness by getting just one more person to “switch” from “shopping to adopting.” Sharing your story of adopting and how great your pet is can help dispel misconceptions people have of shelter animals. Educate your children, friends, family members and co-workers about pet overpopulation, adoption and the importance of spaying and neutering.
- . Spaying or neutering your cat or dog is the single best thing that you can do to end pet homelessness. If there weren’t a problem with overpopulation then there wouldn’t be thousands of shelters all over the country.
- The ASPCA ( http://www.aspca.org/) shares the many benefits of spaying/neutering:
- Spaying and neutering helps fight pet overpopulation. Every year, millions of cats and dogs of all ages and breeds are euthanized or suffer as strays. These high numbers are the result of unplanned litters that could have been prevented by spaying or neutering.
- Neutering provides major health benefits for your male. Besides preventing unwanted litters, neutering your male companion prevents testicular cancer, if done before six months of age.
- Your spayed female won’t go into heat. While cycles can vary, female felines usually go into heat four to five days every three weeks during breeding season. In an effort to advertise for mates, they’ll yowl and urinate more frequently—sometimes all over the house!
- Your female pet will live a longer, healthier life. Spaying helps prevent uterine infections and breast cancer, which is fatal in about 50 percent of dogs and 90 percent of cats. Spaying your pet before her first heat offers the best protection from these diseases.
- It is highly cost-effective. The cost of your pet’s spay/neuter surgery is a lot less than the cost of having and caring for a litter. Many states and counties have established low-cost spay/neuter programs that make surgery easily affordable and accessible. To find a low-cost program near you, search the ASPCA Low-Cost Spay/Neuter Provider Database.
- Consider all the responsibilities and consequences of animal ownership before deciding to get a pet, and always make a lifetime commitment to them. Please visit http://www.americanhumane.org/animals/adoption-pet-care/ to educate yourself on all of the responsibilities that come with bringing a new pet home.
- Spay or neuter your pet! We cannot emphasize this enough. Responsible shelters will do this before they allow your pet to go home, but if your furry friend is acquired elsewhere be sure to have this done ASAP.
- Choose a pet that fits your lifestyle! Choosing a pet that has a high energy level when you don’t will not work for either of you. If you can’t afford grooming or can’t do the grooming yourself, pick a low maintenance dog.
- Dogs thrive off of companionship and like humans they have basic needs. Do not leave your pet outside in inclement weather without access to cool/warm shelter, clean food and clean water.
- Veterinary check-ups are a must. Taking your pet in once a year (after a certain age) will keep them happy and healthy. Take into account that law requires you to get your pet a rabies vaccination.
- Buy your pet ID tags with your name and phone number. If you can, get your pet microchipped or get them an ID tattoo. When pets go missing sometimes they lose their collars and the microchip/tattoo maybe the best way to bring your pet home.
- Walk your dog DAILY. A thirty-minute walk everyday will give your dog exercise and curb their chewing and other bad manners while you are away. This is also a great way to bond with your friend and help with obedience.
- Socialize you pet with as many safe situations and different types of people as possible. Obedience training will also help them to have good manners and behave the way that you would like.