There are millions of abandoned or unwanted animals that fill shelters and rescues. Annually, an estimated 7.6 million animals enter shelters in the USA. Almost 3 million of them are euthanized. Some shelters even limit their holding time because of the many animals arriving daily. The selected fortunate will live out their lives in a loving home.
Our immediate vision includes the enormous yet invisible need of helping homeless, sick, or abandoned animals to get a second chance in life. The need for funds and medical necessities that animal shelters and rescuers struggle with are staggering. To help offset this need, 100% of the profits from Everlasting Hug Inc. will go to help animals in need.
We will succeed
However, we need to look at ways that are better suited to helping to end this onslaught of pets that are entering these facilities in the first place.
We can remedy better results in the long term by subsidized spay / neuter and public education campaigns. The central role of animal shelters is acting as an example of compassion in action. Education should be recognized and supported rather than pushed to the side. Funding these educational programs is a must to educate the public. That will in turn reduce the number of animals entering the shelters.
Many municipal and privately-operated shelters are embracing the No-Kill philosophy. Which means that all but the most physically and emotionally incurable animals are saved from being euthanized. The problem lies in that now these special needs animals are incarcerated into a life being confined to a small cage. A fate surely worse than death. Having two special needs cats, that were rescued only hours before their euthanizing, I am very biased of the fact that more money is needed to help the special needs animals. If a person has a disability, physical or mental, you just don’t throw them away and forget about them. Or for that matter just lock them up and forget about them. The love and affection from those that are in special need situations is so much more powerful that you could even imagine. More money is needed to help these tragic cases get rehabilitated so that they can be adopted.
Some shelters use trap, neuter and release methods as an umbrella to dump cats outside with inadequate care rather than taking them in often because they do not have the room. More money is needed to create the room necessary to cater to feral cats.
Most dogs and cats that enter shelters are in need of tender loving care because they are stressed out. Many will have post-traumatic stress disorder. Some will be traumatized from human abuse, while others will have the terror of being lost or abandoned. Possibly even starved and exposed to the elements. They should be first held in quiet quarantine rooms where they can settle down and feel safe. We want to provide funding for establishing these safe rooms for pets.
These shelters’ staff members and volunteers need basic training and protocol to follow in socializing the incoming animals, helping them overcome their fear so that they are responsive, trusting and adoptable. Many shelters just use calming music, pheromones, oxytocin and lavender oil to facilitate animals’ ability to cope with fear and to establish trust. If there is no real effort to help animals coming into shelters to overcome their fears and trauma — for dogs, this must include outside walks for at least 10 minutes once a day, and encouragement to playfully interact with caregivers — then what chance do they ever have of being adopted? They are more likely to succumb to stress-related infectious diseases if they are kept in the shelter for more than a few days. Also, when incoming animals’ emotional states are ignored, and adoptability tests are given to them in the stressful new environment, many who might eventually have been rehabilitated fail and are killed. This is a nationwide tragedy. Temperament tests have many limitations, both situational and in terms of those administering them. They can be of value but should not be used as a cover to justify killing any and all animals on a pass-or-fail basis. Funding is needed to help better train shelter staff members and volunteers.
The nationwide epidemic of animal shelters killing pit bulls, and municipalities even outlawing people keeping them because of the “dangerous breed” hysteria, is at last subsiding. Thousands of adoptable dogs have been destroyed because of this unfounded and discredited breed prejudice. Always remember, bad dogs come from bad people.
Animal shelters should be just that: providers of shelter, security and proper care by appropriately trained, paid and respected staff members to give all incoming animals a chance of recovery and adoption through socialization, community outreach and volunteer assistance.
We owe no less to the animals who provide incredible benefits to people of all ages — emotionally, physically and spiritually — and to the majority of people who do care about the sad fate of millions of animals still being mistreated and killed in our shelters today.
Our mission is to bring this sad epidemic to an end.
Help me bring together my vision of providing for those still in need and yet to find their forever homes. 100% of the profits from Everlasting Hug Inc. will go to help our pets in need, whatever that might be.