Saturday, September 12, 2009

Opening the doors

According to ASPCA statistics ( ) , it is estimated that 10 to 20% of the owned pets south of the border were adopted from shelters and rescues. They also believe that 15 to 20 percent of the owned dogs were obtained from breeders.
So where do the rest of the pets come from? They guestimate that the majority of pets come from friends and neighbours. Although there are no reliable numbers, it is thought that 20% of owned cats were originally strays. (The subject of how living breathing sentient beings are recycled time and again through the free online ad sites is sufficiently important for its own blog posts, both in the past and in days to come )
But I am wandering afield. One of the most important roles that responsible rescues and responsible breeders both play is the educating of pet owners. The good ones provide lifetime support and advice every step of the way. This is such an invaluable resource that is, IMHO, one of the best arguments for 'doing it right'
If the majority of pet owners are left without this kind of educational backup and support, how is responsible pet ownership to be fostered? Generally they are working without a net, so to speak.
The next generation will benefit from the work being invested in Humane Education right now. But what about the generations already out of school .... the ones who are struggling with pet ownership right now?
Yes ... there are great educational resources available online, but .... the only ones who will read them are the folks who go to the variety of animal welfare websites. At the risk of sounding like a stuck record, animal rescue passes under the radar for a lot of good kind animal lovers.
How do I know this? I normally get an average of 5000 visitors ( not hits ... separate 'sessions' to my site and that only represents a fraction of the population in our province. How can the majority of pet owners be reached .. that majority that don't adopt or go to a good breeder?
  • Information about responsible pet ownership belongs on the municipal websites and in the two annual mailings of tax bills
  • there is a desperate need for a series of articles in the mainstream media featuring all facets of responsible pet ownership while resisting the urge to scold anyone who doesn't' adopt or get a pet from a breeder, and yes I know I go on and on about this but ....
  • We need at least a weekend if not a week for the animals to showcase how much fun pet ownership can be.

What time is it? Its time to stop preaching to the choir and encourage all pet owners to become part of the animal loving community.

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