Introduced in 1992, the third Saturday of every year has been set aside to recognize National Homeless Animals Day. Established by the International Society for Animal Rights, this is a day meant to educate the public and raise awareness about the problem of pet overpopulation. Tragically, 3 to 4 million healthy, loving pets are euthanized in United States shelters every year simply because there are not enough homes to go around. Shelters, rescues and animal rights groups across the country are holding special events such as adoption fairs, candlelight vigils, low cost spay and neuter clinics, and more, to commemorate this day.
How can you get involved? Check with your local pet shelter or rescue organization to see what events are planned in your own community. Even if there are no events in your area, you can still help the pet overpopulation problem with simple steps such as:
- Make sure your own pets are spayed or neutered to prevent adding to the problem.
- Save a pet in need of a home by adopting your pets from a shelter or rescue group rather than buying from a pet store.
- Don’t bring a pet into your home unless you plan on making a lifelong commitment.
- Support your local shelter by volunteering your time, money or with a donation of much-needed supplies.
- Ensure your dog or cat has identification such as collar and ID tag, microchip or tattoo, so you will be reunited should your pet ever become lost.
- Educate your friends, co-workers and family about the importance of spaying or neutering their own pets.
Every pet deserves a loving, permanent home. Even though National Homeless Animals Day is recognized just one day out of the year, homelessness is a sad fact if everyday life for millions of unwanted and abandoned animals.