MOST PEOPLE WILL NEVER WALK INTO A SHELTER.
MOST ANIMALS WILL NEVER WALK OUT OF ONE.
Pet overpopulation is a huge crisis here in the U.S. So are pet neglect and abuse. Most people know better, they simply don't bother to be the best pet parent they can be. If you cannot or will not be able to provide proper (basic) care for your own pets (this includes spaying and neutering) you don't deserve to have them. Go get a cactus or something.
Animals require food, water, proper shelter from the elements (clearly living indoors is the best option here), veterinary care, as well as your love and attention. They rely on you to protect them and be their guardian, just like a child would. Companion animals are family. If you don't see them as family, don't bring one home. You are not worthy of the unconditional love that they have to give if you only see them as a mere object. Animals have feelings. While they may not express themselves in words, they feel the same range of emotions that we do.
If you have pets, it is your job to make sure they are safe and secure at all times. Do not allow cats or dogs to roam freely. When animals just wander around their neighborhood, it can appear as if they are homeless or that no one cares about them. If you love your pets, certainly you do not want to give this impression. Keep them indoors or behind a locked gate. We live in a world where bad things happen to family pets. People steal them from their own backyards (or front yards) and use them for bait animals. Friendly, free roaming pets are a dog fighter's dream come true. Do you want your cat or dog ripped to shreds? Stolen family pets are bought and sold via online classifieds every single day. Animal control might pick them up, they can get run over, stolen, poisoned, abused/tortured or any number of bad things. When you don't keep pets confined to your property, you are putting their lives at risk. Remember, it is better to have a fat cat than a flat cat. Unfortunately, not all people are good people and not all neighbors are good neighbors. Pets end up suffering horrible, unspeakable fates because their pet parents assumed they would be OK.
If it is too hot or cold for you (yes, you!) to spend the night out in the elements, it is too cold for them. Do you see people bringing their plants indoors when there is a freeze warning? Ding-ding...That is the common sense bell hitting you on the head. Do not leave pets out in extreme heat, rain, or freezing temperatures. If your dog relies on a dog house for shelter, it needs to be facing away from the sun or wind. The house needs to be lined with blankets or hay and have a door to keep the rain out. Do not tie up animals or chain them. This is both illegal and cruel. Living at the end of a rope or a chain shows that you have no regard for the well being of your pet. Do you want to live your life on a chain? Try it during the next rainstorm and tell us how you like it. Use some common sense here and don't be a dick.
All animals should always wear collars with name tags and your contact info. *For cats, be sure and get a breakaway collar for their safety. In case of an emergency or unforeseen situation, you want to make certain that your cat or dog can be identified and that you can be contacted.
For the love of God (or whomever you believe in) please SPAY AND NEUTER YOUR PETS. There is no excuse in not doing this. Shelters kill a healthy, loving, adoptable animal every 13 seconds! Almost 3 million animals are killed each year because PEOPLE are both ignorant and irresponsible. No, your cat and dog does not need to have at least one litter. No, your child does not need to see the 'miracle' of your pet giving birth. Instead, take them down to the local shelter and show them the dogs and cats who are on their way to the gas chamber...Or about to be stabbed in the heart with a needle. Each of these animals senses their impending demise. They are all terrified and they scream their heads off. Every person who refuses to spay/neuter their pets or buys from a breeder (lower than a truck stop hooker or a school yard meth dealer) needs to witness the killing in their local shelter. As long as there are animals walking the streets or sitting in shelters waiting to be killed, there is no such thing as a responsible breeder. When the breeding stops, pet overpopulation will stop.
There are low cost or even free veterinary services (including mobile spay/neuter) for those who qualify. Pets, just like kids, cost money to take care of and feed. It is a lifetime commitment and not one to be taken lightly. And just like with human babies, if you can’t feed them, don’t breed them! When you take on the role of pet parent, you are essentially agreeing to be responsible for all aspects of their care. Sadly, this is not something a normal, loving person should have to be told. Please do not neglect or overlook a health issue your pet might be dealing with. Often times, they suffer in silence because people are not paying attention. Be mindful of their health and well being the way you would your own.
Many animals that are adopted or purchased (even for large sums of money) end up in shelters, on the side of the road, abandoned and left for dead. People dump, give up, and rehome their own animals without a second thought. (Refer to blogs on Pet Dumping and Sociopaths). This is shameful, unacceptable and heartbreaking. People who sell these animals only care about their profits, not about the lifelong guarantee of safety/well being for that animal. If everyone would spay and neuter and simply be responsible pet owners, we would not have literally millions of unwanted animals running the streets, sitting in shelters or listed in classified ads. Let's be responsible, put and end to the stupidity, and STOP THE BREEDING.