Why has animal rescue become so prominent in the last few years? Some have expressed annoyance with rescue commercials and social media posts, dismissing the importance of rescue efforts with a sneer. Is pet rescue really that significant? Let’s examine that question in depth.
Did you know that close to 3 million pets are euthanized yearly in shelters across the United States? This is for one simple reason: Overpopulation. And yet, no one seems to be willing to take measures to stop this. No one, that is, except for rescuers. Not only do animal rescuers diligently work to save the unwanted animals from kill shelters, they work to educate the masses on how this violent, seemingly endless cycle can be stopped. They avidly stress the importance of spaying and neutering your pets, which is not only essential to stop the thousands of deaths in shelters everyday, but is also necessary for the long-term health of your pet. Rescues also attempt to show the horror of puppy mills, and what vile things occur therein. “Adopt, don’t shop,” is a rescue motto. There is no legitimately good reason to go out and buy a pet dog or cat, when thousands are dying every day in overcrowded shelters. If this effort to inform the public about the overpopulation taking place among dogs and cats was not made by dedicated and passionate rescuers, there would be much more than 3 million pets euthanized per year.
In days past, it was perfectly acceptable for a pet owner to let their dog roam free, leave him outside constantly, or not take him for his yearly vaccinations. But with the astounding advancements in science and technology that have been made in the last couple of decades, we have learned how utterly dangerous the above actions can be. Pet rescues attempt to enlighten those who still have the mentality above to these dangers. A roaming pet could so easily be struck by a car, and die painfully on the side of the road; animal rescues see this on a daily basis. Cars are not the only dangers, however. Hateful neighbors have been known to set out poisons in hopes that a roaming dog will eat it and die. Additionally, leaving a pet outside constantly is one of the most perilous things you can do. Heartworm disease, carried by mosquitos, can be both severely painful for your pets, but also deadly. Heartworm treatment is expensive, and there is no guarantee that the treatment will be successful. If your pet is left untreated, they will suffer immense pain and likely have an untimely death. These are the animals rescues see: left to roam, not properly cared for or even cared about. Animal rescuers take in pets struck by cars, or suffering from heartworm disease and parvovirus because of an irresponsible owner.
The answer to the question, “Is pet rescue really that significant?” is thus: If you believe that we were divinely given dominion over this earth to protect it, and not harm it, then the answer is yes. Animal rescuers are working toward a greater purpose, and they are working selflessly and endlessly, without any gain to themselves.
So next time, instead of changing the channel when a rescue commercial comes on the screen, take the time to appreciate the efforts of those who work so hard to make this world a better place, one day at a time.