This is Part I of a four part series on keeping your pets with your family and out of Central Florida shelters.
In the U.S. alone, approximately 8 million dogs and cats enter shelters and rescues annually. Approximately 7.2 million are adoptable, but sadly only 4 million will be adopted, fostered, or reunited with their families. That equates to roughly 3.2 million healthy & adoptable pets being put down every year. With un-regulated breeding producing an estimated 4 million dogs per year, a lack of low-cost spay/neuter resources, and our bleak economy causing endless foreclosures, and a staggering unemployment rate, these numbers keep growing.
Some recent statistics show the top 4 reasons pets are surrendered to rescues and shelters are:
1. Foreclosure, moving or landlord issues
2. New baby
3. Cost of pet maintenance
4. Lack of training or behavior issues.
In reality, the number one reason peoplesurrender their pets is lack of resources and/or information on how to resolve their issue and keep their furry friends. This article will deal with the number one surrender reason with the intent of giving people more choices before making that tough decision. This is Part 1 of a four part series on finding resources to help keep your pet rather than surrendering.
In this economy, so many people are faced with having to move at a time when they were just getting settled into new homes. Finding a new home in a short time can seem daunting – let alone finding one that accepts pets. The good news is that more & more pet-friendly housing choices are available today than ever before.
The internet offers many resources available to locate pet friendly housing such as the few sites listed below. Another option is to contact a realtor in the area and ask them to locate private-owner rentals that allow your type or breed of pet. Many realtors will also contact the home owner on your behalf. Be prepared to submit references of past landlords that can vouch for your pet as well as personal references that can assure your potential landlord that you’re a responsible pet owner. If you are moving with a “bully-breed” consider talking to breed-specific rescues in the area for pet friendly housing that accepts that breed. Rescues are more than willing to help you find a way to keep your pet at home and out of their shelter.
Lastly, if you must move before finding a suitable home that includes for your 4-legged family members, ask family & friends to foster and only commit to a short-term lease – or month-to-month until you can find a home that will accommodate everyone in your family.
No matter how bleak your situation may seem, step back and take a deep breath. The pet community is a tight-knit “village” and resources are likely available to help with your issue. Remember that pets are not disposable… They are family members too – and provide us with a lifetime of unconditional love, loyalty, and support. It’s our privilege to protect them, and love them back.