The Grizzly Claw

Save thousands of dogs by adopting

One+of+hundreds+of+strays+the+SPCA+takes+in+every+month.
One of hundreds of strays the SPCA takes in every month.

One of hundreds of strays the SPCA takes in every month.

Photo By Emily Keomany

Photo By Emily Keomany

One of hundreds of strays the SPCA takes in every month.

Emily Keomany, Staff Writer

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In Fresno California, there is currently a large, rising population of stray dogs and their numbers are continuing to increase each year.

Currently, in Fresno, there are over 30,000 dogs brought into the Central California SPCA yearly with an average of 200 surrendered monthly. Due to overcrowding in shelters, many adoptable dogs have to be euthanized to make room for more dogs coming in. Owners who surrender their pets often drop them off without permission to no-kill shelters to relieve their guilt, but because no-kill shelters are almost always overwhelmed, they are forced to send these animals to the CCSPCA where they will be euthanized if not adopted. Tragically, lack of funding and overcrowding means perfectly well-trained, socialized pets who are used to human interaction are put to sleep.

One the most significant contributing factors to this growing problem is that many pet owners in the Central Valley do not spay or neuter after they buy or adopt dogs. According to local shelter operators, when a dog is pregnant, the owners do not typically opt to keep and care for the entire litter. Most will either sell or abandon them, which adding to overpopulation and euthanization.

Fresno residents abandon dogs in a variety of ways including dropping them off to a random place far from home, leaving them tied up at an abandoned house, or surrendering them to a shelter. This continues the cycle of euthanization, due to the fact that there is simply not enough funding or space at the existing Fresno pet shelters.

Many individuals or families may initially decide they want a certain breed of dog. Yet, breed specific adoption often leads to purchasing animals from breeders that does nothing to solve the problem of homeless dogs and often leads to problems of incompatibility. Dog behavior experts remind potential owners that they should let go of expectations regarding a potential appearance, and try to bring their family in to interact with any potential adoptive pet. Finding an animal companion that an owner or family can connect with is far more important than appearance. Certain desirable breeds also come with extreme behaviors that owners may not want.

Adopting dog allows potential owners to interact with them to find a good fit while decreasing overpopulation because adoption fees include spay or neutering for your pet. You are also freeing up shelter space for additional dogs. Not only will you be saving the life of your future pet, you would also be saving the lives of other potential pets by making room for more to come. If you adopt a shelter dog, you are not only saving your pet, you could be giving more dogs a chance to be adopted by a loving family.

There are various ways to adopt a dog from our local shelters. You could drop in and visit adoptable pets at places like the CCSPCA which has an adoption center on site. There are certain shelters that require an appointment to be made ahead of time via a telephone call or an online request in order to meet, interact, or view potential pets. The Animal Compassion Team (ACT) and the CCSPCA has a list online where you could view dogs and read about their personalities and attributes. [http://www.animalcompassionteam.com/animals/] [https://ccspca.com/adopt-a-dog/]. There are some requirements for adopting a pet such as age, being 18 years or older. You might also be asked about your home environment to ensure your pet’s safety.

You can adopt dogs from any of the five major locations in Fresno. Many shelters also have adoption days where you’ll be able to interact with dogs off-site and take them home then and there if you immediately bond. The CCSPCA also has a mobile unit that takes adoptable dogs to certain locations around Fresno. The main location that is frequently visited is River Park.This link will take you to the dates, times, and location of the mobile unit:  https://ccspca.com/mobile-adoption/

If you’re unable to adopt, there are still important ways you could make a difference. One option is volunteering at the local shelters, although there are requirements such as age limit. The jobs you could possibly be doing will depend on your age and the shelter you would be volunteering at and your skill set. Donating supplies helps, but money helps even more because it allows shelters to purchase what they need most at any given time. Possible ways to donate are readily available online whenever you’re willing to look.

Utilize all local resources to help decrease the amount of overpopulation and save the lives of dogs instead of turning to breeders. Believe it or not, many shelters actually cater to certain breeds if you’re still determined to adopt a certain typle of dog. Even if you’re unable to adopt, you can still help no matter who you are, or what your background may be. Whatever you do, don’t become part of the problem by buying dogs from breeders, puppy mills or litter vendors. When adopting, make sure the puppy or dog has a good personality and don’t adopt just because it’s a great looking dog. If you cannot pay for spay and neuter fees, you can’t afford vet bills or other costs that come with pet ownership. Remember pets are not necessities. Their companionship is a privilege and they are living beings who suffer when we treat them as nothing more than possessions.

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