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National Animal Shelter and Rescue Appreciation Week 2014

Tuscaloosa Metro Animal Shelter [FaceBook]
Shelter animals do not need pity - they need good forever homes!

Animal shelter workers and rescue volunteers are the unsung heroes of the pet world, because without them many animals would never have the chance to find a new home.  This week is National Animal Shelter and Rescue Appreciation Week, but thankfully these dedicated folks are helping our four-footed friends all year long!


According to the Humane Society of the United States, there are approximately 3,500 animal shelters in this country. They take in over six million animals a year, but half of those will never find homes. In addition to shelters, there are rescue groups in many communities who try to find homes for pets in need to keep them from having to go to a shelter.

A lot of folks have a pretty negative view of animal shelters, but for homeless dogs and cats, a shelter may be their only refuge from hunger and fear and unforgiving elements. It may also be their best chance to find a home and an owner who will care for them and love them into the great pets they were meant to be.

This is National Animal Shelter and Rescue Appreciation Week. It serves as a reminder to us of the hard work and dedication of shelter workers and rescue volunteers in our communities. There are several ways you can show your appreciation and make a difference for the animals and their caregivers.

One would be to visit your local shelter or rescue group and let them know you are grateful for all they do for all of us. A heartfelt “thank you” doesn’t cost anything but can mean the world to a shelter worker or volunteer.

Another way to show your appreciation is with a donation – most shelters and rescue groups can always use supplies like paper towels, or your old bath towels, maybe some pet toys.

Of course, a monetary contribution is always helpful. And if you have a couple of hours to spare, volunteer some of your time to help out.

If you really want to make a life-changing difference, you can adopt a pet. And then tell your friends about it – and post it on FaceBook. When everyone sees what a great new best friend you have, they might decide to adopt a new companion of their own!

Appreciating animal shelters and rescue groups includes not adding to their burden created by pet overpopulation. Make sure you are a responsible owner by having your pets spayed or neutered to prevent the birth of even more puppies and kittens, especially when there are so many who still need homes, when we’re speaking of pets.


Mindy Norton has been “Speaking of Pets” on Alabama Public Radio since 1995.
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