World Stray Animals Day
A Chinese proverb says, “To be chased home by a stray dog is a sign of wealth ahead.”
This saying certainly applies to the person who decides to bring the stray dog into their heart and home, as the love and loyalty of a four-legged friend immeasurably enriches a person’s life.
Unfortunately, the World Health Organization estimates that there are more than 200 million stray dogs worldwide, while CAROcat measures that 480,000,000 stray cats roam the streets.
There are approximately 70 million stray pets in the United States alone. To draw attention to these sobering statistics, 4. April was accepted World Stray Animals Day.
What can I do to help stray animals?
While the statistics are sobering, there are steps anyone can take to help needy animals both globally and locally.
Support for non-profit organizations
Find out about the efforts of nonprofits helping pets in underserved areas around the globe, such as:
- Soi Dog Foundation: A nonprofit that helps pets in Thailand through a spay / neuter program; Provides emergency veterinary treatment for injured and abused dogs and cats; offers meals for hungry, homeless animals and much more.
- The Vanderpump Dog Foundation: Reality star Lisa Vanderpump’s charitable rescue and rehab dogs from animal shelters in LA runs two animal shelters in China for animals that were rescued before the Yulin Dog Meat Festival.
- Animal People Alliance: Co-founded by Belinda Carlisle of The Go-Go, the non-profit helps stray animals in India and Thailand while providing work to people in need.
- Nowzad: An organization that helps animals in Afghanistan.
There are approximately 3.3 million dogs and 3.2 million cats in animal shelters in the United States in hopes that their forever pet parents walk through the door.
If you are planning to welcome a dog or cat into your family and are financially and spiritually ready for the responsibility, opt for an adoption at a shelter or rescue organization.
Care for a stray animal
If you are unable to adopt an animal in need but still want to help, you can open a kennel at your local animal shelter by temporarily opening your home to a homeless animal as a foster parent.
The space you create by hosting a temporary “roommate” gives your pawed new buddy a break from the shelter life and gives both your new buddy and a newly arrived shelter the much-needed time to be adopted.
Find out if a shelter has posted a wish list of essential everyday items on its social media platforms.
Make a request from the shelter come true by donating blankets, toys, cleaning supplies, etc.
Give your local animal shelter the gift of your time by signing up as a volunteer!
Meet kittens, snap cute pictures of adopted children to post on social media, or give a dog a break from a day behind bars by taking him or her for a walk.
Unleash your creativity with a DIY project for a paw thing! Virtually hug a homeless cat by knitting or crocheting a toy or a comfortable blanket for their cage to take home when they are adopted. make a cardboard cat scraper; Braid discarded t-shirts into a dog tug toy, or sew “adopt me” bandanas or vests.
Support with social media
Share photos of guardian animals from adoption sites like AdoptAPet, Petfinder, PetHarbor, and Petango on social media (Twitter, Facebook, Instagram) to increase a dog or cat’s chances of being seen by their future pet parents.