Pets get abandoned.
I’m not going to get into a discussion as to what constitutes a “valid” reason for giving up a pet, but these could range from behaviour issues to allergies, to having a new baby coming, or just not being able to dedicate the time to training.
Regardless of the reason, many of these pets will end up in animal shelters. It has been reported that almost 50,000 dogs were abandoned in a single year in 2015. Cats Protection state that in 2017, they had rehomed 46,000 cats and kittens, and the RSPCA alone dealt with over 1,000 abandoned small animals in 2016. The number of unwanted reptiles is unknown, but there are huge numbers turning up in rescue centres – in fact, we were frequently contacted by vets across Manchester whenever a reptile needed to be rehomed.
Unfortunately, most of the organisations working to help and rehome these animals are charities and have very limited funding.
With so many good causes needing your hard earned cash these days, it can be difficult to squeeze out a bit more for another charity, but there is another way you can help.
Give your time instead of your money. They will appreciate it just as much.
Do you need reasons to do this? Read on.
Help out pets in need
It isn’t their fault. These animals are most likely used to human contact and will appreciate any attention you can give them. Even the nervous or seemingly unsociable ones.
Give something back
Think about the concept of “paying it forward” – think about how your pets make you feel, about the affection, about the companionship. If you could pay that forward to those animals stuck in the shelters, how much would they appreciate that?
Gain animal experience
Got cats, but never had the chance of a pet dog? Want to experience different breeds of dog? Or maybe you want to see what it is like to look after a bearded dragon. You can gain experience with a wide variety of different animals while doing some good.
Could help you make the decision to adopt
There is only one acceptable route out of a rescue centre for an animal, and that is to be adopted. While you’re there, you might find “the one” and give one of those abandoned pets a future.
Meeting other volunteers
Volunteering is a great way to meet new people, and if you are volunteering at an animal shelter, you can be pretty sure that you have at least one thing in common with them.
Great for a CV
If you are wanting a career in something animal related, then what would look better on your CV than you giving something back to the animals you want to work with. It shows a certain attitude and can go a long way.
Animals reduce stress and anxiety
It has been proven that being around pets can alleviate stress, loneliness, anxiety, and can even help with long term mental health conditions.
You give an animal hope
Make them know that they’ve not been forgotten, and that there is someone who cares. Yeah, OK, maybe there’s a bit of anthropomorphism here – we don’t really know how much an animal can feel hope, but it makes me feel better to think that they know that someone cares.
Simply, it makes you feel better. Be proud of the fact that you are helping those animals.
Head over to the Bleakholt site to volunteer your time, or even Northern Greyhound Rescue – there are many organisations in the area. Even if you don’t have the time, I’m sure a few old blankets or other supplies would be appreciated.