The shelter is full! We need your help! These are the words spoken by advocates trying to save the lives of animals in kill shelters every day.
And unfortunately, they're not being dramatic. These animals are in jeopardy of being euthanized. And for no reason other than there is no room left.
At Animal Care and Control Team (ACCT) in Philadelphia, along with many other intake shelters, this happens on a regular basis.
That's when the shelter clock starts counting down.
Staff and dedicated volunteers scramble to help urgent animals leave. And by leave, we mean through the front door with someone new to love.
But there are a few things for you to consider, and possibly avoid altogether - because the last thing shelter staff and advocates want to do is to celebrate an animal leaving only to be returned because the foster or adopter wasn't ready to make the commitment.
1. Don't let your heart lead with no regard to your situation.
Many compassionate people want to rush in and save an animal at death's door. It's easy to get caught up in "I can't let this animal die" - it's human nature and very noble. But don't jump in unless you're prepared to make a lifetime commitment to this animal. Always check with your landlord first if you are renting.
If you want to help but aren't ready for a long-term commitment, foster instead! But fostering also requires time to find the right home, so be prepared for that too. Please don't let the urgency of saving an animal be your only motivation. Remember, you can help just by sharing the animal in hopes of reaching someone that can help.
2. Keep comments short, on topic, and, and manageable.
In many threads, comments are encouraged and very welcome. But in the case of "extremely urgent" animals, less is more. Try to post with only comments, questions, and information that will help save this animal. It goes without saying that everyone's heart is in the right place and that they'd help if they could, but keeping the thread short will allow everyone to easily follow the progress and safety of this animal. And refrain from using the thread for negative comments or arguments that do nothing to help the animal waiting to be saved.
3. Don't say that you're on your way to save an extremely urgent animal if you really aren't.
People have done this thinking it gives an animal more time - thinking the shelter won't euthanize if they believe someone is on their way. In truth, all it does is rob the animal of precious time and the chance to find a truly good home. Once people put their faith in the thought that this animal will be saved, they then turn to the next critical animal in need. The networking stops, help doesn't arrive, and the poor animal runs out of time.
But if you are ready, head to ACCT or your local shelter to find a new companion and save a life.
Thanks for reading!
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