Article updated in 2012.

It’s raining cats and dogs. I am not talking about the weather. For sure, I am speaking quite literally about the topic of cats and dogs. Quite a while back I had the opportunity to visit a NYCAC – a place where stray cats and dogs are picked up, sheltered, vaccinated and passed on to people who want to adopt them. Back then I had no idea of what the animal population in my city or country was. Soon enough I began learning about it and I was quite pleased to know that I did more than save a cat’s life when I chose to adopt. Silly as this seems, I probably saved generations of cats and kittens by my one action of adopting rather than buying an animal.

Here are some facts that you might not yet be aware of:

Did you know?

Each day 10,000 humans are born in the US. And each day 70,000 puppies and kittens are born. As long as these birth rates exist, there will never be enough homes for all the animals. As a result, millions of healthy, loving cats dogs, kittens, and puppies face early deaths as a form of animal control. Others are left to fend for themselves against automobiles, the elements, animals and cruel humans. What can you do to stop the suffering? Spay and neuter your pets! Work with SPAYUSA and together we can make a difference. An unspayed female dog, her mate, and all of their puppies, if none are ever neutered or spayed, add up to: in 1 year 16 animals, 2 years 128 animals, 3 years five hundred and twelve animals, 4 years equals 2048, 5 years twelve thousand two hundred and eighty eight. In six years, those animals will have produced over sixty-seven thousand animals from that one family.

That quote is directly from Spay USA.

As long as you keep buying animals instead of adopting animals, you become part of the problem. If you are considering having an animal enter into your family’s space, kindly consider adopting that animal instead of going to a store to pick out the animal. Always opt for adoption. By opting for adoption, you are saving an animal’s life.

Here’s how to Adopt:

  • Find an adoption center near you and go there.
  • Ask recommendations from friends. Perhaps they know someone who is giving up a dog or cat for adoption.
  • Prepare your home before the animal arrives. (Buy a pet dish, cleaning supplies and everything that your animal should receive in when that pet is adopted.
  • Put a free advertisement in the newspaper stating that you would like to adopt.
  • Check your community yellow pages and make sure your writing is connected
  • Put a free advertisement in a local paper, stating that you are available for local adoption of an animal. There are hundreds of ways to prepare you and your pet for an adoption event.

Important Safety Note: If you are animal lovers, pet owners for anyone who knows someone who owns pets, kindly pass on this word that no one should pet cats or dogs on leashes, indoors or outdoors. So many pets die or are put in danger when they are on a leash outdoors and left unattended. If your pet is on a leash, you should be there with them. If not, your pet can become strangled by his own leash. When dogs are on leashes outdoors and left unattended, some of them are attacked by wild animals (squirrels, oppossums, raccoons) and could be killed by them. Also, some of these wild animals can have rabies. So by leashing animals and leaving them unattended, you are putting your pets in great danger.

Other Safety Notes: Keep chocolate away from animals. I have heard that some have bad reactions to it and also that chocolate is fatal to dogs. (I am not sure about cats). Grapes are fatal to cats. A long time ago I had a cat who loved salad. He just loved the salad. And one day I was giving the salad to him and was offering him a grape that came inside the fruit salad. He backed away from the grape as if it was a predator. It surprised me because he loved natural foods. It wasn’t until years later that I read in some vet’s office that cats should not have grapes because they can be fatal to cats. Wow. This cat knew what was not good for him. He won’t go within feet of a grape. It is amazing how God created creatures, in such a way that even though they have no scientific knowledge, their bodies know what is good for them and what is not good. Even man has that built in power – to know what is good and what is not good. Remember your first cigarette? You probably choked and choked but went on to keep smoking anyway. Hey, Bud, that choking was a warning that cigarettes are fatal to human beings. But, we, unlike cats, decide to go against our nature and our health, if we continue to smoke. So, today, having nothing at all to do with cats and animals, do yourself a favor and stop doing the things that your body says are wrong to do. You will be happy that you did yourself that favor.

Remember, adopting a pet is helping to save the world, save animals and save lives. Make your next stop to an adoption place or to a shelter. Today, all over the world, puppy mills are churning out puppies and dogs that are not healthy. Why help support them? Help support the little animals that are already here and you can make a difference in someone’s life.