Chasity Webb | Features Editor
I love animals, especially puppies. Sadly, lots of them are homeless because owners refuse to spay or neuter older dogs. The Humane Society estimates there are approximately 6 to 8 million cats and dogs entering shelters each year and only 3 to 4 million are adopted.
Many shelters choose to euthanasia these animals. However, there are plenty of no-kill shelters available. In Montgomery County alone, there are several, including Second Chance and Happy Tails (www.secondchanceandhappytails.yolasite.com) and Precious Friends Puppy Rescue and Adoption (www.preciousfriends.net). You can help by adopting these animals in need. Don’t buy from a breeder or a puppy store; some puppy stores get their puppies from puppy mills. Puppy mills have been around for decades. In these facilities, dogs are kept in small cages, lack companionship and aren’t allowed to play or run free. After the breeding dogs of these puppy mills are no longer able to breed, they are usually killed, abandoned or sold.
Check out the dogs at Clarksville-Montgomery County’s Humane Society (www.clarksvillehumanesociety.org) or the Pet Fair held every Sunday at PetSmart on Wilma Rudolph. If you are not ready to add another permanent family member, you can also foster an animal for a shorter amount of time. All of the places previously mentioned are constantly on the lookout for foster homes. When you foster an animal, the shelter pays for all medical expenses needed for the pet. When the pet finds a new owner, it leaves your care.
If you are not allowed to have animals in your home, you can donate your time. Many shelters accept volunteers. Precious Friends is a great place to start. They are open and need volunteers all week. The morning hours are used for cleaning cages and taking care of the animals’ needs. It can be a dirty job but it’s extremely rewarding and fun to interact with the pups. The afternoon hours are spent bathing dogs, walking them and answering questions for prospective adopters. You build a bond with each pup and there’s a great sense of accomplishment when they finally find a home.
Another way to help is by donating items to the shelters. It doesn’t matter what you donate. Most shelters take monetary donations. Precious Friends has a specific need for newspaper, office papers and magazines to use for bedding. If you have no time, money or space, help by spreading the word. Do not ignore the problem and help in any way you can. TAS