As our economy has taken a dramatic downturn, many thousands more pets are being given up to shelters due to financial and other hardships on owners.
Common now among reasons for pet relinquishment is, "can't afford." Other cats and dogs wind up in shelters when their owners become ill, are forced to move or lose their jobs. The increase in animal intakes in shelters places burdens on the shelters, who then turn to rescue groups for help.
As a small rescue group working with Animal Control in New York City, we are besieged with constant pleas to save these dogs or those cats. Unfortunately, rescue groups are also feeling the economic pinch and volunteer downturns.
It has become much harder to find willing volunteers to temporarily foster animals until the pets can be permanently placed. It is much more difficult finding adoptive homes. And it has become far more challenging to raise the necessary funds to support vetting and other care of rescued animals.
The lack of available fosters means rescue groups are forced to board many rescued animals when financially possible. Unfortunately, boarding, particularly over long periods of time becomes financially prohibitive.
Currently, NYCA has 7 wonderful dogs in boarding. Not only is the boarding of animals financially draining, but it is not the best thing for the dogs. Long term cage confinement can cause high stress in many animals resulting in possible later behavioral and adjustment issues.
But, even more than the financial stresses on the organization or possible emotional damages on the animals, there is the very real fact, that once filled in foster homes and boarding spaces, the rescue organization can no longer rescue NEW animals.
When rescue organizations are filled to capacity and cannot take in new animals, that translates into more animals going into city pounds and ultimately dying. City shelters are currently forced to "euthanize" an ever increasing number of loving and healthy cats and dogs simply because homes and rescue cannot be found for them in time.
A rescue organization that cannot "move" its animals either into foster or adoptive homes, cannot continue rescue. Animal Control shelters who cannot move their animals into adoptive homes or rescue organizations are forced to kill otherwise highly adoptable pets on a daily basis.
Both of the above scenarios are happening RIGHT NOW, every day in New York City. Shelters and rescues desperately need HELP -- especially help in the forms of responsible adopters and willing volunteer FOSTERS.
Even if you have one pet already, PLEASE consider taking in another on a short term basis until a permanent home can be found for the cat or dog.
In many cases, volunteer fosters can even choose a particular animal to foster.
Challenging times call for those able and willing to step forth to lend a helping hand.
Please call us immediately, if you are able to foster or adopt a needy and loving cat or dog or even just seeking further information: (212) 427-8273.
Thank You in advance, New Yorkers for Companion Animals.