ANIMAL CARE AND CONTROL are taking in many more dogs and cats than in previous years. Recent findings show that for every family buying a puppy, there is someone dropping one off at a shelter. Educating families, especially those with young children, about the basic needs of a dog -mental and physical-, the training, veterinary care and exercise that their new dog will require, is essential. Today’s situation is especially critical due to shelters being short -staffed, under-funded and over-crowded.

Encourage safe- dog adoptions and encourage future dog -parents to educate themselves about canine care -mental stimulation-physical exercise needed- prior to buying or adopting a dog.

1.Many new dog- parents are ignorant as to what a canine needs -veterinarian care- vaccines, deworming and all the costs involved, until it is too late and a medical emergency occurs.

2.Exercise- long walks- backyards. It has surprised me to hear that some dog- parents crate their dogs all day while at work- the dangers of crating for longer than a few hours. Most trainers are in favor of short period crating.

3.Do not buy or adopt a dog if you are having financial difficulties. That’s not just referring to foreclosures – but any kind of financial difficulty that would prevent you from taking your dog to the veterinarian when necessary or providing the necessary training and care required, especially for large dogs.

4.Helping the homeless take care of their dogs by donating dog food and necessary items. How often have you seen homeless people on the street with their dogs beside them? Most times these dogs do not have enough food, water or veterinary care but are closely bonded with the person that is homeless. Offering to take their dog to the veterinarian to update on vaccines such as rabies and booster shots prevents the spread of canine diseases such as kennel cough and rabies and helps all dogs just that little bit. Drop off that bag of kibbles and maybe a water bowl or two, with a few blankets, and of course a first aid kit. Paw it forward!

Preventing dog homelessness and helping those dogs that have already lost their homes and are living on the street with their pet-parents, will go a long way toward helping all dogs live a happier and healthier life.

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