Board urges pet alteration; helping local shelter
February is the month for humane programs such as "Spay Day" and "Dogs Deserve Better---No Chains!" Both are desperately needed everywhere, especially here in Barnwell County.
The Barnwell County Animal Shelter receives over one thousand pets each year mainly because so many people here do not have their pets spayed and neutered. There are two no and low cost spay/neuter programs available in the county through the Shelter Foundation and through the Animal Advocates, but many people still do not take advantage of them.
There are many "backyard breeders" who add to the overpopulation of pets that end up at the shelter. The shelter plea is: "Please don't breed or buy while Shelter Pets die". Every time someone buys a dog instead of adopting, a shelter pet is essentially condemned to death.
Recent statistics show that there are 45 cats and dogs for every one person born. Approximately 800 dogs and cats are killed each hour in the U.S. because there are not enough homes for them. If everybody who lets their pets have babies would spend one Thursday at the shelter watching wonderful pets be euthanized simply because of this overpopulation, they would think twice before bringing more into the world.
Unfortunately, many people regard pets as disposable property and simply do not care whether or not an animal is suffering. Albert Schweitzer said, "Until he extends his circle of compassion to include all living things, man will not himself find peace."
If you are one of the people who truly do care about animals, please help. Offer to help take the unaltered pet of someone to a veterinarian. Help people apply for low/no cost spay/neuter (259-1050 or 541-7387). Report neglect and abuse to the hotline (671-1688) or local police and be sure to follow up on it. Speak up about dogs who are confined to tiny pens or chained up 24/7. Help the owners build inexpensive backyard fences or ask the Animal Advocates for help through their Hutts for Mutts Program. Advocate compassion and responsible pet ownership every chance you get. Participate in the 5K Walk/Run on April 13 at Veteran's Park to raise money for low and no cost spay/neuter (259-5606) and for County Shelter improvements. Attend the Animal Advocates' "Night of the Unleashed" fundraiser on March 2 at Sweetwater. Visit the Shelter site at www.petfinder.com/pet-search?shelterid=sc238. Donate. Volunteer (300-2032). Foster. Adopt (259-1656).
In the words of Gandhi, "You must be the change you wish to see in the world." Please help in any way you are able.
Animal Shelter Board
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