April 4th is World Stray Animals Day, a day to raise awareness about the millions of stray animals globally and celebrate the work that organizations do to help them. Stray animals can be found everywhere, from inner-city streets to rural villages and the countryside. They can be dogs, cats, or any other animal that has been abandoned or lost. While many factors contribute to the problem of stray animals, there are also many ways we can help. World Stray Animals Day is one way we can all pitch in and make a difference.
Sadly, research shows that there are an estimated 70 million homeless dogs and cats struggling to survive on the street in the United States. World Stray Day is a day for all of us to raise awareness about these sobering statistics and the many ways we can work together to bring these numbers down.
How to Help Reduce the Number of Stray Animals
Pet overpopulation stems from several factors: cats and dogs reproducing with little chance of their offspring finding homes, lack of spaying or neutering, pet owners relinquishing their pets to shelters, and irresponsible pet owners. 2.4 million healthy, adoptable cats and dogs are euthanized in U.S. shelters each year due to pet overpopulation. There are so many ways we can help to reduce these numbers!
Spay or Neuter Your Pet
Prevention is key in reducing the number of stray animals. Spaying and neutering your pet is the best thing you can do to help prevent pet overpopulation.
Spay and neuter are common surgeries performed by veterinarians while your pet is under anesthesia. Female animals are spayed by removing their ovaries and uterus, and male animals are neutered by removing their testicles. Spaying or neutering also has other physical, behavioral, and environmental benefits that will last your pet's entire life.
Microchip Your Furry Friend
There are estimates that 10 million dogs and cats get lost in the United States every year. Many pets end up at shelters because they get lost or run away. Unfortunately, most of these pets are not reclaimed by their owners and are put up for adoption. If you take the time to microchip your pet, if they do happen to get out, the shelter or any veterinarian can scan your fur baby to reunite you quickly, easily, and efficiently!
Adopt, Don't Shop
Instead of purchasing a pet from a breeder or pet store, consider adoption from a local shelter or pet rescue. You can think of yourself as a hero! Your furry friend will always believe you are a hero since you have saved their life!. Not only are you providing a forever home, but you are opening up room for another stray to go into the shelter, in turn reducing the number of homeless pets on the streets.
Why are stray animals such a big problem?
Did you know that U.S. taxpayers shell out between one to two billion dollars annually to pay for animal impoundment, sheltering, euthanasia, and subsequent disposal of homeless animals? That is a lot of money!
Not to mention, the dangerous diseases the stray animals spread. Rabies, for instance, is transferred from animals to humans through saliva in bites. Between 40,000 and 70,000 people die from rabies each year. 99% of those deaths are linked to rabid dog exposure.
Sadly, many street animals end up dying from infections and diseases that are preventable.
On World Stray Animals Day and every day, let’s all do our part to help these animals in need. They didn’t ask for the life they were born into, so let’s make their lives better. Please consider rescuing or adopting a stray animal. Let's come together to do what we can to help them. Whether you rescue an animal yourself or donate to a local shelter, your kindness can make all the difference in the life of a stray animal. It will change both of your lives for the better. Don’t forget to share photos of your new furry friend with us on social media – we love seeing them happy and safe in their fur-ever homes! @vitalpetlife #StrayAnimalDay