Salvation for man's best friend
Have you have ever wondered about the fate of dogs whose owners leave them, or are lost by accident? The unlucky may finish their days in a pound before being put to sleep. An alternative is an animal shelter, a much happier option as they care for abandoned dogs and attempt to find new owners, and they have been instrumental in encouraging spaying and neutering. This alone has resulted in a reduction of stray dogs reproducing unwanted puppies.
Not all animals which end up in the shelters are unwanted pets. Sometimes the owner can no longer look after their animal due to sickness; death, neglect and handicap can also force a hard choice. On the other hand there are a few dogs who got a bit too rough, possibly due to lack of training or to circumstances, for example the arrival of children.
Your first port of call when looking for anew dog should be an animal shelter as they have a whole range of dogs. You may even find the puppy you have always wanted right there. The points to remember when you choose a dog from a shelter are something to think about. Usually there is no clue as to treatment or health of the animal prior to its arrival at the shelter, so you might be in for a surprise in terms of chronic infections or inherited disease.
The character of the dog will also be somewhat a mystery, so if you are choosing a dog for a vulnerable household (ie one with children or old people) choose carefully and try to spend time with the dog first. You will have to be patient as the dog settles into your home, and be prepared for the odd accident, as it can be very stressful for an animal to change locations to unfamiliar circumstances.
In the United States the Humane Society works for animal protection. A national NPO, it has its hub in DC. You will be able to find a regional branch near you wherever you live in the USA. It receives no government funding. The Humane Society is active in the protection of native species as well as pets and livestock. It is the voice of animal rights, lobbying for better conditions, prosecuting those who ill treat, educating people about animals and caring for the natural world.
Both domestic and wild animals are in the remit of the work of the Humane Society. It defends animals through the courts, the classroom, the senate, the authorities and more. You can find many unwanted pets at regional branches, which should be your first place to look for a new pet.
If you want to help the Humane Society you can do so in several ways. You can adopt an animal. You can give a donation. You can volunteer your time.
These are all valuable contributions. The Humane Society and shelters are a ray of hope for abandoned and injured animals. Please don't remain complacent about the fate of unwanted animals; the truth can be very sad.