"The Family Couldn't Take Care of Him," "Neglected Because of Marital Discourse," "Family Moving to Apartment," & "Abandoned." These phrases are often included in the descriptions of the innocent and adoring dogs and cats in animal shelters around the world, particularly the United States. It upsets me to see that animals are merely treated as property, and are often tossed side when it becomes too much of a responsibility. I stronger oppose adopting an animal as a "fashion accessory" or to entertain your children or because "it's what everyone else is doing:" "Well, my neighbor has a dog, so I am going to get one too, but I am going to get purebred." These are the most vial, selfish, and pathetic phrases I have ever heard. There are now many small dogs that were over-bred that do not have homes, only because it was the "it" thing to do-- to have a small dog. Adopting a pet is a rewarding effort. Especially when you adopt, or find a stray cat, for example, you are taking a very valuable step. Cats and dogs bring peace and tranquility to a home. In recent multiple studies, those who have animals that they regularly take care of are less stressed overall than those who do not have pets. You gain a higher degree of happiness while taking care of animals.
For the past year, I have volunteered at my local animal shelter. I must say that I have never been more eager to go visit a workplace. Writing and working with animals are my two greatest passions; animals are the most delicate yet strong-willed souls on earth. Each should be treated with respect and compassion. I urge you to volunteer at an animal shelter. If you are a teacher, bring your class there on a field trip and or allow someone to visit your class to give a discussion on how to properly care for and treat animals. Most animal shelters allow volunteers to start when they are 16, with a guardian 21 or over, and over the age of 18 on their own. Volunteering at an animal shelter is an excellent way to begin your community service ventures.
It is abhorrent behind reason that anyone would harm an animal in way. That is the cruelest form of punishment that exists, in my opinion. When animal acts in defense, it is because the animal has been provoked or threatened. Do NOT take it out on them, never take your anger out on them. If they could speak words they would say, "Why are you hurting me? I thought you [loved] me. I don't understand, what did I do to you?" Humans have the choice and the upper hand to refrain from causing abuse. It is evident that all animals have feelings and emotions, so let them always be loved and cared for.
There are two cats at my shelter that were once feral. They are resident animals, meaning they live at the shelter full-time. I love them dearly and they always greet me each time I visit. One cat's name is Amanda, she is an adorable Russian Blue cat that has been a resident at the shelter for four years. Another cat named Amy is also at the shelter. I allow each of the cats to come to me first before I pet them, because they may be in a playful mood or simply not want to be bothered. Never take it out on them if they go to bight or scratch when you pet them. Sometimes it is instinct. Just let them approach you, and if they go to bite or scratch, walk away, never provoke them by trying to continue to touch them or play with them. For example, one time I was petting Amanda and she went to bite. I stepped away from her and then a few minutes later she ran over to me and rubbed on me. Also, be sure to never corner an animal, because they will become frightened and think you may attack, thus they may "act" first. Cautiously, let them come to you, show them that you are not a threat. You can toss them a toy or give them some food, or leave them be.