The McLachlan SPCA Commercial always makes me weep.
Her angelic voice, the face of those sweet animals and power of the facts the commercial highlights always moves me. Today’s post and an organization that I would love to see my readers get behind and support in 2010 is the SPCA. What is the SPCA? Let me share what I know so far….
The Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (SPCA) is any of a number of animal welfare organizations whose operations include protecting and providing shelter to animals in danger. The SPCAs are non-profit organizations that campaign for animal welfare and take in abused or abandoned animals, and help them to get adopted. What you may not know (and I just learned) is that in the United States, all organizations using the name SPCA are independent organizations. There is no umbrella organization
Following the creation of the Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals the ASPCA was founded on April 10, 1866 in New York. It is the oldest and first animal welfare organization in the US.
Now that we have the basics let’s dig a little deeper. Here comes the data:
About 63 percent of all households in the United States have a pet.
• About 75 million dogs and about 85 million cats are owned in the United States.
• About 65 percent of pet owners acquire their pets free or at low cost.
Despite America’s love for animals, an animal is beaten or abused every 10 seconds in the U.S.
• The majority of pets are obtained from acquaintances and family members. Fifteen to 20 percent of dogs are purchased from breeders, 10 to 20 percent of cats and dogs are adopted from shelters and rescues, and two to 10 percent are purchased from pet shops.
Approximately five to seven million companion animals enter animal shelters nationwide every year and approximately three to four million are euthanized due to a lack of space or resources to adequately care for them (60 percent of dogs and 70 percent of cats). Shelter intakes are about evenly divided between those relinquished by owners and those picked up by animal control. These are national estimates; the percentage of euthanasia may vary from state to state.
• Less than two percent of cats and only 15 to 20 percent of dogs are returned to their owners. Most of these were identified with tags, tattoos or microchips.
Animal welfare organizations are also working hard to find, save and rescue animals everyday. RESCUE. Rescue from what exactly?
- Dog Fighting
- Puppy Mills
- Farm Animal Cruelty
- Horse Cruelty
- Circus Cruelty
- Animal Hoarding
Ummm…that’s a hell of a list.
At its core SPCA is about education, advocacy and action …… the creation of humane education and legislation that strives to establish a sense of responsibility and make the world a better, more humane place for all creatures. I get that. Animals like humans deserve to lead happy, healthy lives.
SPCA organizations all over this country are assisting animal victims of both natural and man-made disasters throughout the country. From hurricanes and wildfires to puppy mill raids and other large-scale animal cruelty cases, the staff and volunteers works tirelessly with other emergency responders, humane associations and shelters to rescue animals from life-threatening situations and provide them with the essential care they need.
Volunteers are the first line of defense and essential in the efforts to end animal cruelty. They are also a critical link and a trusted resource for pet parents. SO let’s get you out there and volunteering!
What can you do today to help?
- Fight to get strong anti-cruelty laws passed on federal, state and local levels. Set a good example for others. If you have pets, be sure to always show them the love and good care that they deserve.
- Got time to give? Local shelters are often in need of volunteers—from walking dogs to socializing cats, hosting a fundraiser or putting your handyman skills to work, your time is precious and desperately needed.
- Create your own grassroots fundraising event and invite friends and family to become sponsors. Money raised will help end animal cruelty and find permanent, loving homes for adoptable pets. Sheltering animals is super expensive.
In the spirit of full disclosure– In 2002 I adopted a rescue dog and It changed my life. This dog was a loyal compannion and friend who touched me on every level. He had lots of health problems and was an old man when he came to live with me and my girls, but we loved him and cared for him, especially because he was not a young puppy. I was with him at the end of his life– and its still one of my most profound memories. Below please find the picture of Pacaya a rescue animal owned by my friend Alynn, who every now and then allows me to feed, play and care for her.
As you think about opportunities to volunteer and donate next year do not forget the 7 million animals in need of love, support and essential care– then get off of your rear end and go help them! 2010 is the year of ACTION, let’s not talk about it…..Let’s be about it!