Show pets compassion

Published 3:34 pm Tuesday, March 10, 2009

I’m not sure how many Portuguese Water Dogs are in need of being rescued.

I hope at least one, because I will be very disappointed if President Obama and his family adopt any dog other than one truly in need of a good home.

For the life of me, I can’t understand why anyone would pay hundreds of dollars for a “purebred” dog or a cat, when our animal shelters are overflowing with good, deserving animals in need of homes.

In case you missed it, First Lady Michelle Obama recently told an interviewer for People magazine her family had narrowed down the search for their much-anticipated family pet to a rescue Portuguese Water Dog. Because of allergy issues, the family needs a dog with a certain type of fur that can help cut down on allergic reactions.

Allergies aside, my preference would have been for a White House limousine to pull up at a Washington, D.C., animal shelter, a Secret Service agent emerge, go inside, then walk out carrying the dog next in line for euthanasia.

The number of unwanted, abandoned and abused animals is growing at a record-setting pace. Unfortunately, the downturn in our economy has brought about an increase in the number of animals given up to animal shelters across the country – just at a time when donations and other funding at such shelters are scarcer than ever.

Here in Shelby County, shelter officials tell us about 60 percent of the dogs and cats brought to the facility are euthanized for no other reason than they can’t be adequately cared for. We’re not talking about old or sick animals. Most of those euthanized are kittens and puppies.

That’s a sad fact, and one we should all be working to help change.

Making certain your pet is spayed or neutered is a good start. And, please keep your pet in your home or in your fenced yard. They should never simply be left to roam or run loose.

Donations of your time, energy and any funds you can share to the Shelby County Humane Society are much needed and would be appreciated.

Little has been asked of us other than we share our love and compassion for the least among us. I believe that group includes our pets.