The Solution Starts with You

By Diane Robertson

It is much too easy with our busy lives to dismiss the idea that “we” could help with the rescue of homeless animals.  Please read on to understand that there are many ways that everyone can and should help avoid the problem of homeless animals.

First, make sure you spay or neuter your dogs and cats.  Unless you are a breeder, there is no reason not to do this. There are low-cost options available almost everywhere.

Second, keep your companions happy and healthy and forever.  Commit yourself to keeping your animal regardless of the challenges you may face.  There are individuals and groups that can help.  If you are challenged by lack of money to feed your animals, a behavior problem, a move or another challenge you need to understand that there is help available.  Ask around, call the animal shelter, your local rescue groups and others.  Do not abandon your animal at the local pound!  Dropping your dog or cat off at the local shelter is cruel.  Your companion does not understand what is happening, they can become very stressed, can become sick and worse yet, may be immediately killed if they are old or perceived to be unadoptable.  You owe it to your dogs and cats to do everything possible to keep them with you forever.

What will happen to your animals if you suddenly pass away?  If you do not make plans for them now, there is a good chance that they will be taken to the local animal shelter when you die.  If you have a will or trust be sure to keep it updated with plans for your companion animals. If you don’t have a will, make one.  Everyone should have a will, even young people.  Legal Zoom (legalzoom.com) is a good, low-cost source of legal documents that you can use to protect your family and companions.  If you are a senior citizen, check with your county Human Services department.  Many counties offer low-cost or free legal assistance to senior citizens.  If you have the money, contact an attorney who is familiar with setting up wills and trusts for animals.

Start a “Rainy Day” fund for your pets.  Just like you budget for car maintenance and clothing and groceries, you also need to budget for the cost of food and medical care for your animals.  If you start a separate account for your pets and make regular deposits, a visit to the vet or Emergency vet will not be a problem.  Planning ahead is the key to being successful both in life and love (or so I’m told).

In my next blog I will talk about the many ways you can help with the physical rescue and rehoming of companion animals.  There are many easy ways that everyone can help and it does not have to involve your money or opening your home to new animals.

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