Every Spring, while many are looking forward to the messages of new life and happy times, shelters and rescues wait with trepidation to see what awaits them.
By March and April, puppies given as gifts during the holidays have reached adolescence. If their parents haven't taken the time to train and socialize them, they are probably getting unruly, rolling through their teething months, chewing on shoes, furniture and countless forbidden objects. They are probably jumping up and hitting more than shins and knees and it's no longer cute. They've probably doubled in size from the cuddly little puppy that romped through the holiday wrappings and charmed everyone with their puppy breath. The kids have lost interest in the sharp puppy teeth and the numerous duties associated with owning them. Many families begin to second guess their decision to add a pet to the family. Far too many families decide that the dog was a bad decision and bring them into the shelters.
April and May also herald the beginning of "kitten season". Depending on where you live, cats in your area can go into heat between 2 and 4 times a year. Pretty universally, you will see one of these cycles happen in the early springtime resulting in kittens in April and May. This is largely a problem that springs from people who won't or don't spay and neuter their pets, especially their outdoor cats. Young cats that were acquired at Christmastime may not have been spayed or neutered right away. It only takes one unexpected outing in February or March to result in a litter of kittens in April or May.
Adding to kitten season are the large bands of feral cats that no one wants to take responsibility for. Caretakers often feed and tend to their medical needs. New additions are spayed and neutered as money allows, to try to keep the population counts down. However every unspayed female in a colony has the potential to increase the colony size by hundreds of kittens in a single year if left unchecked. Pet people are often charmed by the sight of a couple of cats roaming around a nearby park. "What's the harm in a couple of feral cats to enhance the ambience" they think. They would not be as charmed by hundreds of cats, spraying and scratching and marking up the area. These cats are both everyone's and no one's responsibility.
Spring a Pet is a fundraiser to address these and many more issues that our adoption partners work to combat every day. Moneys raised in the stores go directly into the communities in which they are raised, as well as to supplement funds used for grants and disaster relief in the upcoming months. Only you can determine how much we are able to help the groups in your area. Donate today.
Thank you to our sponsor, Avoderm, who is working with us to ensure that 100% of your contributions go to animals in need.