It’s a cold, hard fact that dogs and cats are abandoned or neglected at an alarming rate in the nation’s capital. Many DC animals are left on the streets or dropped on the doorsteps of our adoption centers. Some animals come to the Washington Humane Society (WHS) because they are victims of cruelty and we need to find them a safer place to live. Others suffer a broken bond with their human companion for any number of reasons. We take them all in without judgment, but sadly, it is a tremendous challenge to find good homes for all of these animals—a feat only possible if we all band together as a community.
Our staff works vigorously to provide low-cost spay and neuter services; help pet owners learn ways to provide better care for their animals; offer guidance to improve companion animal behavior and preserve the human-animal bond when it is fragile; and find loving new homes for the animals who come into our care and rely on us to brighten their future.
Still, an average of 30 animals enter our shelter each and every day. Thirty precious individuals.This happens every day, 365 days a year. It is simply overwhelming. And it is time to break the cycle and make a difference.
For us to see an end to pet overpopulation, things must change in Washington, DC. Spaying or neutering is an important step we can take to stop this rampant cycle of irresponsible pet breeding and unwanted litters. Because WHS spays or neuters every animal we place into adoption, we prevent literally thousands of accidental litters each year. But there is more that can and must be done.
To help tackle these complex issues we rely on a community of supporters that becomes larger each day. WHS is so grateful to the volunteers, donors, adopters, and businesses already providing crucial aid. Our new mobile adoption center, Adopt Force One, has allowed us to enter an increasing number of areas in the District, neighborhoods that exemplify how much dc loves dc animals. We are honored that they are also joining our community.
These compassionate individuals have chosen to help the animals in their own city, and we hope that more will follow suit. Just like the “buy local” movement promotes a philosophy of mindfulness about where our food comes from, we want DC to be mindful of where its companion animals come from.
Our community warmly embraces farmers markets and supports local businesses because we appreciate how valuable such investments are to the place we call home. WHS is spreading the message that happy, healthy, and wonderfully loving animals born in our own back yard need help too; they are waiting for adoption every day at our shelters. Often, their “every day” stories are hidden behind glamorous stories of large animal rescues in other parts of the country. We need those who are passionate about “acting locally” to raise awareness of the critical need to support – and adopt – local animals. If we join together we can make the nation’s capital a place where animal overpopulation and homelessness has become a bad memory from the past.
This weekend, people in the DC metro region have a wonderful opportunity to celebrate these ideals: the DC Walk for the Animals and Pet-A-Palooza. Please join us on September 29 as local residents, their pets, and area businesses enjoy games, contests, music, and the like—all to support WHS and make life better for the District’s hard-luck animals. While we have great empathy for the plight of animals in need everywhere – and look forward to the day when we have the capacity to help them – our bursting at the seams adoption centers are a daily testament that we need our own DC community to think and act locally when it comes to adopting their next pet.