Quad-City Creatures By Heidi Dahms Foster, Prescott Valley, Arizona A local blog all about pets and pet activities in the quad-city area.PV, Prescott and beyond.
Friday, July 11, 2008
Don't let pets fall victim to weak economy
Heidi Dahms Foster
Our pets give so much, let's make sure we take care of them in hard times. Photo by Heidi Dahms Foster
Something that has been weighing heavy on my heart during the recent economic downturn is what happens to our pets when the money really gets tight.
Most people will adjust - they won't do as many activities with their dogs, or buy as many toys or treats. My dog show friends are planning their trips, or not, a lot more carefully these days as fuel, lodging and food prices rise. We're spending less, planning more, and forgoing the luxuries.
A few less toys, treats, beds or other luxuries won't hurt any of our pets. But poor nutrition, lack of necessary veterinary care, or worse, lack of a home, will.
Unfortunately, many pet owners aren't very good at planning ahead. They take on too many animals, and then in hard times, find they can't care for them all. Families adopt a dog or cat and then when money gets tight, they dump it on the Humane Society.
The Humane Society and other adoption agencies are essential, so don't get me wrong. If you absolutely cannot care for your pet, you are doing it a favor by taking it to an adoption agency or the Humane Society. Please don't dump it by the side of the road where it could get hit by a car or starve to death.
Just as friends gather together and help each other in hard times, pet lovers need to circle the wagons now in a number of ways, to make sure our animals don't go neglected.
Now is a good time to clean out all those toys and other animal items that your pets don't use anymore, and donate them to your favorite animal group. Most of us who have pets have leashes, collars, chewies, toys, beds and more that we no longer use.
Additionally, if you are doing OK financially, this is a great time to set aside a little bit for animal rescue groups and animal sanctuaries, such as the Yavapai Humane Society and United Animal Friends. I love the idea Arizona Public Service and PetSmart use. On my APS bill each month is a section to donate a dollar to Project Share to help people who can't afford their electric bill. At PetSmart, I can donate a dollar to help homeless pets.
Even a couple of dollars on occasion will help, if enough of us give. Our pets offer so much to our quality of life. Let's make sure they don't suffer during hard times.