Diamond In the Ruff: Adopt, Don't Shop!
Diamond In The Ruff: A monthly fur-friends column
by Diamond Araujo
Adopt, don’t shop! The topic of pet adoption is a big one. There are about 70 million stray animals living in the US, only one tenth of those ever entering any kind of shelter system, and roughly 2.7 million of these animals being euthanized per year*.
We are very fortunate on Martha’s Vineyard to live in a place where we are not seeing the outright neglect of domesticated animals. Many places within the US, as well as other countries around the world are witness to animals fighting for their lives on a daily basis, whether they’re roaming the streets, huddled on sidewalks or searching for food. I have friends living down south who find abandoned litters of puppies on their commute to work and daily travels as regular occurrences. It’s an epidemic among southern states. I bet if you asked a friend who has rescued a pup in the past where they’re pups are from and they’ll say something of the likes of; Texas, Tennessee or South Carolina. These issues may feel or appear to be concerns of the abroad; in countries such as India or Ecuador, but it’s happening right here in our own backyard.
Puppy mills and backyard breeders remain an issue and yet people are still paying extreme amounts of money for a “purebred”. In the meantime, innocent stray faces sit inside of cages, awaiting freedom and for families to come and love them.
My call to action: I urge all of you to take a proactive role in helping these loving creatures in any way that you can. You may help by:
Rescuing instead of purchasing
Donating old leashes or collars and volunteering at your local shelter
Donating to a 501(c)3 nonprofit shelter to assist them in purchasing needed supplies, getting needed shots and paying for travel expenses to get these animals to their forever homes
If you are looking for a fur-friend to add to your family, I hope you’ll consider reaching out to one them!
*(Pepelko, Kristina. “12 Alarming Facts About Pet Homelessness.” One Green Planet, One Green Planet, 9 May 2014.)