Even though we adopted The Boys in July, I still peruse the adoptable pets at the MSPCA centers in Boston and Methuen. Occasionally, I see a dog (or usually, a pair) whose story affects me. Every time this happens, The Prof and I go through my juvenile cycle of: me begging to get another (or two) pooches, his gently and practically pointing out that four dogs is A LOT, and my getting angry and pouting. Lather, rinse, repeat.
I guess that, since we are so lucky to have adopted such wonderful shelter pets, I want to help all the sweet animals who ended up homeless, usually for a reason not their own. This Valentine's Day, I am redirecting my shelter animal affection outward, and encouraging everyone to give a better gift than that Dunkin' Donuts card or cheesy red rose to yourself and/or your partner. Some ideas:
- adopt a pet!
Since the economic downturn, there have been an influx of animals given up to shelters (or abandoned on the street) by owners who can no longer afford their care. Although some animals end up in shelters due to real behavioral or health issues, the majority of shelter pets don't deserve the stigma given to them. Check out shelterpetproject.org for more details.
- support a shelter animal!
Adoption is a big step, I know, but you can also give money and goods to pet shelters (who are always in need of supplies.) For my Valentine's present to myself, I'm sponspring Baby, a four-year-old daschund at the MSPCA Methuen. She was brought in as a bonded pair with Auggie, a basset hound, but the shelter was unable to find a home to take them together so Auggie was adopted out and Baby is still waiting for a new home.
- donate your time!
From our involvement with the MSPCA, I know that shelters are always looking for volunteers to walk and play with the animals for socialization, as well as (here comes the yuck) clean up. Every time that we went to the shelter before and during adopting The Boys, it was obvious how vital volunteers were in keeping things running smoothly.
Just a final note: I understand that there are so many causes in need of money and time from the general public, some equally if not more more pressing than animal welfare. But this one hits close to home for me, so spread your good fortune around a bit this candy-heart holiday. Just sayin.
Blogorelli (and her Loverboys)