In business, organizations compete for the buyer’s attention by offering advanced, user-friendly products, competitive pricing, specialized services, compelling marketing campaigns – utilizing all resources to ensure customers purchase their products or services. In the animal welfare industry, we all have similar “products”, but we play different roles. And we’ve found that we can do more by working together.
Each animal welfare organization plays a unique part in saving lives. The city or county facility is government funded and accepts stray animals giving owners a place to reunite with their beloved pet. They also accept animals when families can no longer care for them or they’re abandoned – left alone and afraid. The challenge becomes having the space required to house the companion animals.
According to the ASPCA, approximately 6.5 million companion animals enter U.S. animal shelters nationwide every year and approximately 1.5 million shelter animals are euthanized.
That’s where organizations, such as Texas Humane Heroes comes in. The private, nonprofit organization operates two adoption centers and works with over 30 shelter partners throughout Texas, some with save rates as low as five percent, every year to save dogs and cats lives by providing shelters with another option besides euthanasia when facing space-related issues.
Animal welfare organizations do “compete” for the resources required to provide the care and shelter these animals deserve, but the best way to change the future for homeless dogs and cats is to work together. This is evident in emergency situations like we saw last year with Hurricane Harvey or most recently when a partner reached out because 20 cats had to be immediately removed from a home due to health issues, and they needed the space for them to find a home. Texas Humane Heroes was immediately able to assist due to having the space available, and thanks to our partner Shadow Cats, having the resources needed to medically care for them. Now, these cats will not become a statistic, they won’t live in fear or poor health, they won’t continue to breed and add to the homeless population. Now, they’ll be alive, safe and warm in their own home with a family who loves them.
The industry has learned to lean in and support each other, and it’s making a difference – one million less companion animals are euthanized nationwide every year. Community members are a major factor in this social change. They provide much needed support by fostering pets, volunteering to clean and care for them as well as donating to provide the resources to spay and neuter, microchip, vaccinate and prepare these pets to give and receive love. It takes us all coming together to express love for those who love us unconditionally in whatever form moves you. Together, we will eliminate pet homelessness.
By: Kristen Huguley, Executive Director