The current U.S. financial crisis has the potential to grow into a serious animal welfare issue, warns Executive Vice President of ASPCA Programs, Dr. Stephen Zawistowski. As households across the country are caught in the economic downturn, an estimated 500,000 to one million cats and dogs are at risk of becoming homeless.
“According to national financial estimates, approximately one in 171 homes in the U.S. is in danger of foreclosure due to the subprime mortgage crisis,” Zawistowski observes. “Considering that approximately 63 percent of U.S. households have at least one pet, hundreds of thousands are in danger of being abandoned or relinquished to animal shelters.”
To avoid or ease the heartbreak of losing an animal companion due to economic hardship, the ASPCA urges pet owners who are faced with foreclosure to think of alternatives ahead of time:
- See if friends, family or neighbors can provide temporary foster care for their pet until they get back on their feet.
- If they are moving into a rental property, get written permission in advance that pets are allowed.
- Contact their local animal shelter, humane society or rescue group before they move. If a shelter agrees to take the pet, they should provide medical records, behavior information and anything else that might help the pet find a new home.
“Everyone is being affected by the current economic crisis in some way,” says ASPCA President & CEO Ed Sayres. “Community animal shelters and rescue groups across the country may soon be seeing an increase in homeless pets or a decrease in the donations they rely on.”
We urge ASPCA News Alert readers to help in any way that you can:
- Adopt a homeless pet.
- Donate used blankets, towels or even tennis balls to your local animal shelter.
- Foster adoptable animals until they find their forever homes.
- Help community members who may be struggling to take care of their pets.
For more information on pets in the economic crisis, please visit our pressroom.
|Now that you’ve celebrated… Do something extra nice for your dog(s) for Valentine’s Day:|
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Believe it or not, your pet knows the secrets to achieving a successful relationship. Here are five love lessons that man’s best friend can share with you.
Though dogs have been labeled man’s best friend, when it comes down to it, Fido is probably more the type of buddy you’d seek out for a game of catch, not love advice. According to Harrison Forbes, professional dog trainer and author ofHeart of a Dog: What Challenging Dogs Have Taught Me About Love, Trust and Second Chances, however, you might want to reconsider the notion that your canine knows nothing about matters of the heart. “Dogs do the types of things we should do more often, and the things they don’t get involved in — well, we should really skip them, too, if we’re looking for love,” he asserts. Puzzled by the notion that you may actually be able to get some romance pointers from your Pointer? Read on for five love lessons you can learn from dogs.
1. The reassurance of forgiveness
In order to have a successful partnership, letting bygones be bygones is crucial. An inability to get over issues and move ahead is a key roadblock to happiness. Dogs, Forbes notes, are always in the moment and therefore don’t hold grudges or hang onto resentment. “Dogs wipe the slate clean many times a day,” he explains. “If you are grumpy and yell at your dog, but then wait a minute and act like you never did, he will forgive you — many times over. If humans could let the little things go as easily as dogs do, their relationships would be better for it.”
2. The security of unconditional love
Forbes says that as a rule, when a dog loves his owner, that bond is lasting and real. “It’s interesting to note that celebrities are over-the-top pet lovers,” he says. “This is because their dogs really love them for who they are, not their A-list status; a dog will always treat you the same. Dogs offer truly substantive relationships in a way most people don’t,” he notes. When it comes to romantic relationships, humans should strive to emulate a dog’s focus on what a person really offers in terms of love, kindness and warmth, he advises.
3. The comfort of consistency
In a romantic relationship, consistency can be quite comforting. What’s not to love about a partner who is never moody or capricious? “We as humans understand there are different types of behavior, yet we crave consistency,” Forbes says. “With dogs, regardless of your animal’s personality, you pretty much get the same behavior unless he’s ill. A lot of people take comfort in that aspect of pet ownership, so you can only imagine how much similar behavior could add to a romantic relationship.”
4. The need to be playful
Forbes notes that most dogs want to have a good time, keeping things light and not so serious all of the time. “The easiest way to burn out a working dog is to work him all the time — that pretty much goes for relationships as well,” he says. In police-dog training, Forbes explains, training is balanced with play and fun. “The harder you go at it in a training phase, the more you have to counterbalance it,” he says. “It’s the same with a relationship — you have to relieve the pressure through play and good times.”
5. The importance of effective communication
While communicating with your partner is important in a relationship, it’s not merely the act of communicating that will ensure your relationship’s success, but finding the way to do so that best matches your partner’s needs. This is a skill that you can easily learn from working with dogs, Forbes says. “The different ways in which I communicate with my three dogs are suited to what works best for them … and for me with them,” he explains. You have to be willing to experiment and find the best way to communicate with dogs, and the same goes for your romantic interests, he says: “Just as a hot-tempered dog won’t respond to yelling and lots of commands, neither will a hot-tempered person. At the same time, some more sensitive types may need a gentler approach. Essentially, no one person or dog communicates the same way — each individual has a unique style, and taking the time to learn about your partner’s needs is the key to a strong bond.”
By Chelsea Kaplan
If you have room in your home and in your heart please adopt just one more pet in 2009 and help stop unnecessary pet and animal euthenization. And please be an animal advocate by supporting the humane treatment of all animals and reporting even suspected abuse and cruelty.
Another great way to help is to become a foster parent for pets (and all animals if you have the room) in need or waiting for homes or placement.
Below are some some photos of our gang… our four (a chihuahua and three chiweenies) and our daughter’s two ( a papillion and a chorkie) taken on Christmas Eve. We also do some temporary emergency fostering.
Any home is made better with the special love of a pet!! And all animals are God’s creatures and deserve fair and humane treatment, so help spread the love.
Photos by: Marion Algier – The UCLA Shutterbug
We wish you and yours, including your furry, feathered and scaled family members Blessings and a Great Holiday!!
Tim, Princess, Santa, Apachi, Angel, Marion and Angelina
Sure, you’d like Fifi to share in the joys of the holiday table, but resist the urge to be generous. Foods and drinks you digest easily, like the following, can cause trouble for your pooch:
Dinner rolls — Dough expands in the stomach, creating distressing gas.
Onions and garlic — These flavor enhancers contain a compound that could damage a dog’s red blood cells, causing anemia.
Rich sauces — Gravy upsets the stomach and may lead to pancreatitis.
Bones — Sharp pieces of bone can choke a dog or pierce or block her gastrointestinal tract.
Alcohol — Even slightly spiked eggnog can be toxic, so don’t leave any drinks unattended.
In addition to avoiding the “no-nos”… how much people food you share at the holidays should be gaged by whether you normally cook for your pets and their main diet is so-called people food, whether they eat only traditional dog food, whether they eat raw food, or whether they normally eat dog food with a little cooked or people food or get some scraps here and there. But sharing a little of your holiday food is certainly not a bad thing!!
Dear California Advocates,
At a special legislative session held earlier this month to address the state’s budget crisis, Governor Schwarzenegger proposed new taxes on certain services—including an approximate nine-percent tax on veterinary services. If this should happen, it will have a negative impact on the health and welfare of California’s pets.
During this economic downturn, animal owners are already being forced to make tough choices. Animal shelters are at capacity, but the number of homeless pets continues to rise as people lose their homes to foreclosure and unemployment rates climb. A tax on veterinary services will lead to a decline in routine wellness visits—even by responsible owners—which are vital for catching health problems in the early, treatable stages. It will also lead to an increase in pet abandonment, putting more financial strain on California’s state-funded animal shelters. Taxing veterinary services is a quick-fix, shortsighted solution that will hurt animals and could cost the State more in the long run.
Thank you for caring about animals, California!
You Friends at the ASPCA
Remember… You Are Their Voice!!