Homes for Animals in Our Communities

Dog in Shelter

Animal shelters and humane societies are essential in communities for the many benefits that they provide. They are known for providing new homes for animals that come from the streets, or have been abandoned by previous owners. These animals are priced at an affordable rate, as opposedto dogs that come from pet stores or breeders. Animal shelters promote the safety of animals and the responsible ownership of pets. They also offer a solution to puppy and kitten mills. Most animal shelters also offer low cost treatment for pets who become ill and whose owners cannot afford to take them to a private practicing veterinarian.

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I am an active volunteer with the Humane Society of North Texas, and experience the service of animal shelters firsthand. Each animal gets their own kennel, food and water, and they are walked and socialized daily. The staff works very hard to encourage adoptions, and frequently drive the dogs to adoption days at different locations. It is extremely rewarding, but in no way is it ideal. The best possible scenario would be all cats and dogs had homes, and there were no strays wandering about in the community. Because that ideal is not achievable in the foreseeable future, animal shelters are great solutions.

After researching, I was shocked to find that some cities do not have a humane society of their own or anywhere to take or adopt animals without homes. I discovered that some local governments have not funded the creation of a local pound or humane society. This poses a problem because the alternative to government funding is individual funding. Starting up an animal shelter with private funds is incredibly difficult and expensive, which is the exact reason why in many cities the local government provides funds for the shelters. They do this for the betterment of public health and safety. This seemed to me like it would be an obvious standard public service that all local governments provide, but sadly it isn’t. This not only does a disservice to the animals themselves, but it does a disservice to the community.

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In our government class, we learned about the pathways of political action as ameans to get your voice heard. The members of these communities who want shelters added to their cities could effectively raise awareness for their cause by using the lobbying pathway. This pathway involves attempting to influence the activities, actions, and institutions of government by supplying information, persuasion, or political pressure. By drawing the attention of key government officials in their area, they could work together to make a change and achieve a satisfying end result.

SOURCES:
http://www.humanesociety.org/
http://saawinternational.org
http://animalsheltering.org/marketplace/

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