Just in time for holiday gift-giving and New Year's
resolutions! Here are easy ways to help break the
cycle of homeless animals.
- The "PET" Maryland vehicle license plates bearing a
dog and cat along with the message "Spay and Neuter."
Says Dolly Goldfarb, the volunteer and dog/cat foster
caregiver who brought this program to PAW, the plates
are an easy, effective way to spread the message of
caring about pets. They also make a great gift for a
family member. When people order these special
license plates, $25 goes to the sponsoring animal
welfare group, so it helps raise money for a good
cause while publicly promoting something easy for
every pet owner to do to help reduce the number of
homeless companion animals. See the details at
- Use the new U.S. postage stamp that features photos
of a dog and a cat along with the message "Neuter
Spay." And, adds volunteer Dolly Goldfarb, packages
of these stamps make a very practical and welcome
- Donate some of your pet gifts and other supplies to
a local shelter or animal welfare group.
- Some people who received cash gifts over the
holidays are giving a portion to animal welfare.
- Sponsor a neuter or spay operation at a local
low-cost shelter or for a pet owner who lacks the
money to spay/neuter his or her pet. This suggestion
comes from PAW volunteer Sarah Hinkle.
- Spend some time at your local animal shelter and
give some needy dogs and cats attention, petting and
exercise. They'll love it!
- Help a friend, relative or co-worker deal with a
pet behavior issue or the challenge of helping a pet
adjust to a life change (a move, a new baby, etc.).
Give them a gift of one or two of the excellent books
available, such as any listed on the Resources/book
list on the PAW webpage http://www.paw-rescue.org/info.php.
You can also print out relevant pet care tips and
guides from PAW (http://www.paw-rescue.org/) and other
websites. Volunteers Lawrie Rich and Ann Philips
suggested this idea. Some groups such as PAW even
offer free workshops. Encourage acquaintances to take
advantage of free resources, and to see a vet and/or
behaviorist-trainer for difficult problems.
- If you have a neighbor who is dealing with a tough
temporary schedule, illness or other problem that is
keeping him or her from spending enough time caring
for a pet, offer to visit a few times a week. Dolly
has helped exercise the pets of neighbors in need.
- Take opportunities to write letters to local media
and government decision-makers to support animal
welfare initiatives, responsible pet ownership and
measures to stop animal cruelty. Most people are not
aware of the number and plight of abandoned companion
animals. Help educate people and make a difference.
- If you see a neighbor engaging in practices that
endanger the health and safety of his or her animal,
do something positive. Gather information from the
internet (there's plenty on the PAW website) and
humane organizations, and share it in a supportive
manner that will help counter the defensiveness that
some people have. Perhaps the people engage in the
practices out of ignorance. With your help, they will
finally have a chance to learn another, better way to
care for their animals. In cases in which the animal
is truly suffering, and the people reject suggestions
to help the animal, call your local animal control
agency. It is better to take action than to let the
- Encourage an animal-loving friend or co-worker to
join you in volunteering at an animal welfare group
event...or two...or three....
- Be kind to animals and be kind to people.
For more of Robin's Dog Tips, see the index at:
Partnership for Animal Welfare
P.O. Box 1074, Greenbelt, MD 20768
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