Friday, April 22, 2011

Earth Day: Animal Rehoming, the 4th R

Odin, one of my rescue dogs

This post is the culmination and wrap-up of various subjects over the past month. It being Earth Day - which occurs during Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Month, and following Volunteer Week - this is the perfect opportunity to stress the importance and benefits of adopting a pet from an animal welfare agency, or Rehoming an animal. I consider it the fourth R of the Green movement alongside Reducing, Reusing, and Recycling since it really is a version of the first two rolled into one. Or maybe it is just a re-wording of Reusing to be more appropriate for a living thing.

There are so many reasons to adopt a pet, and many articles have been written so I won't get into them all here, but the gist is that you are not only helping an animal in need but many others by not supporting mass breeders by buying from a pet store. If you want to read more here is a good article from the HSUS with these five reasons detailed:

  • You are saving a life
  • You'll get a healthy pet
  • You'll save money
  • You'll feel better
  • You won't be supporting puppy mills and pet stor

Back to the matter, you are Reducing the overpopulation by not supporting puppy mills and also your animal will be spayed/neutered already so they cannot make more animals. You could say you are Reusing an animal, though that is where the term Rehoming is better.

My Glory, a deaf border collie, on the right with a deaf foster
Finally, my opinion in general on helping causes in your own community before you help elsewhere has already been stated. It fits here perfectly - how can we think we can solve the animal overpopulation and cruelty problem elsewhere when we haven't solved it in our own backyard? Whether you are adopting or volunteering, ask the question of the agency - are the animals from my area? Try to find local animals you can help out - last Friday I gave my two cents on the best place to do just that.

This Earth Day, and going forward, make the resolution (as I detailed here) to help the stray, unwanted, abandoned, mistreated and injured animals in your community.