When we think of helping homeless pets, we usually picture a skinny kitty or doggie showing up in our yard. What should we do? We can’t possibly take them in; we’ve already got two (three, five, fill-in-the-blank) pets, and our spouse has made it very clear that there should be no more.
The fact that you can’t adopt any more pets does not mean that you cannot help homeless animals. No one expects you to keep every stray. If you can keep one or two and provide them with good care and lots of love, that’s wonderful; and if not, that’s okay. There are plenty of other things you can do.
1. You can place abandoned animals in a pet shelter. This may cost you some money, but it will be money well spent. Pet shelters charge around $50 when you want to turn in a cat; the money goes for vet check-ups, shots, neutering, and whatever necessary treatments. If the kitty you have brought happens to be healthy and does not need any medications, your money will go for other pets that do require medical aid.
2. If you have no money to place the animal, you can call Animal Control and have them place it. I have done this once when a lovely gray-and-white kitten was dumped at our house. I was willing to pay $40, but the shelter happened to be full at that time, they couldn’t possibly take another cat. I then called Animal Control, and they had arrived on the same day, equipped with a pet carrier and gloves. Gloves were not necessary: the kitten was very friendly and did not scratch. He was very cute, too; the animal control guy said, “Oh, he’ll be adopted in no time.”
3. You can help homeless animals by helping pet shelters. Be that financial help, donating cat and dog food, or volunteering, pet shelters are always in need of all that. Shelters have lists of things they currently need the most, so you can check the list and see what you can give or do. If you cannot afford to donate money or buy any of the items, please do not underestimate the value of volunteering. If you can come to the shelter once a week and help them to clean the cages, feed, walk, or even just pet the animals (wouldn’t that be the greatest job in the world?!), it will make a great difference.