Thank you for educating people in Tucson about the overpopulation and resulting euthanasia of thousands of pets each year at the Pima Animal Care Center and the Humane Society of Southern Arizona.
The June 14 article (“Population boom hits local animal shelters”) focused on why animals are at a shelter – because of a lack of spaying and neutering.
While I know pets need to be spayed or euthanized for several reasons, there are other reasons pets’ lives may be ended prematurely at animal shelters.
As rescue group member Signe Razzi noted, many people who move may not be able to take their pet and either do not take the time to find a new home or cannot do so in time.
Sometimes the move is to an apartment, nursing home or rental home that will not take pets.
So people take their pet to the shelter and hope for the best.
Other times, a pet escapes from a yard, and the owner does not follow up by calling or visiting a shelter regularly – or even once.
Some people let their dogs run free. When the pets are picked up by Animal Control, the people do not follow up or cannot afford to pay the fees to get the pet back.
Some people get a puppy, cat or adult dog that does something they don’t like, such as ripping up a pillow, barking too much or scratching furniture.
Rather than addressing the issue, they take their pet to the local shelter.
I am confident that any shelter worker could easily add to this list of “reasons” pets are in shelters.
Many of these cats and dogs find wonderful, permanent homes.
Many of my clients have adopted and fallen in love with their rescued pet.
These are the feel-good stories. Then there are the thousands who die each year with no one they know or love with them at the time of euthanasia.
Thank you for publishing the shelter’s contact information.
And thanks to all of the local rescue groups that spend countless hours, money, love and compassion in rescuing, fixing, fostering and finding homes for the pets whose owners they cannot find.
Their work is very important, even though it is sometimes a thankless job for them and for employees at the Pima Animal Care Center and the Humane Society.
Adopting a pet is a very important responsibility and commitment.
When one cannot keep a pet for one reason or another, there is an alternative to taking it to an animal shelter.
Take the time to find a new loving “forever” home by contacting family, friends, neighbors and co-workers to help spread the word that a new home is needed.
It takes time and effort.
However, the payoff for the pet and your peace of mind is priceless.
Bridget Monrad, RN, owns Happy Tails Travel Inc., a worldwide pet travel agency.