A Paws For Pets — Shelters

By Susan Rodabaugh, York Adopt A Pet

In 1869 the concept of sheltering animals was originated by a woman named Caroline Earle from Pennsylvania. It began with the cruel abuse she saw of horses and mules pulling wagons and it eventually developed into something much bigger. Over 150 years ago, she and 29 other women developed the Women’s Animal Center. They cared for cats, dogs, mules, horses and other animals. One of their goals was to provide care and protection for homeless pets. This inspired many other towns and cities to follow in her footsteps.
Just as it was back then, it remains the same today. Today there are roughly 5,000 animal shelters, rescues or city pounds in the United States. There has been quite a change since 1869. With every decade that passed there seems to be more and more support to rescue the strays and abandoned pets. However, 13.5 million cats and dogs are looking for homes in the United States. Nebraska alone has roughly about 99,990.

In the past years, York Adopt A Pet housed about 600-700 cats and dogs that were cared for yearly. However, with the decrease in adoptions in 2023 it does affect our intake numbers which will be less this year. Because of the shelter capacity we are limited as to how many animals we can take in. The decreased adoption rate will keep the average daily number of animals in our care about the same.

All pet shelters, rescues and city pounds are full. Relinquishments have increased dramatically over the past year. Understanding your pet and their behavior could help resolve issues or even prevent them from happening. However, if you do have a pet that is displaying behavior issues please reach out to your veterinarian or call York Adopt A Pet. Make sure to understand that any changes including family size, friends, work or school schedule, other pet(s), home, food, or health within your household or home may cause unwelcoming issues from your pet. Relinquishing your pet should be the last resort. Your pet issues should not be burdened on someone else. Take responsibility for your own pet(s).

We are also seeing more and more pets being brought into the shelter for neglect and cruelty. Neglect is failure to provide basic care required to an animal to thrive. While cruelty to animals is willing or wanting to inflict pain, suffering, or death upon an animal or the intentional or malicious neglect of an animal. Treat your pets with love, care and kindness. They will reciprocate that back to you.

We have about 100 dogs and cats to choose from at York Adopt A Pet. One will be perfect for your family. They all have a story to tell and are very much in need of a home. Yes, pets can be costly. With their necessary vet trips, food and other necessities it can add up. However, pets provide so much to a home. The most obvious benefits of pet ownership are love and companionship.

Whether you live alone or have a family, pets make a house a home. Pets also can help us feel better. It has been reported that they can reduce stress, lower blood pressure, increase oxytocin and provide you with getting more exercise.

They are also very beneficial as an emotional support animal. Pets overall make us take better care of ourselves. Some pets even make us feel more secure in our homes.

If you are wanting to add a cat or dog to your family but are skeptical, please call the shelter for advice. We want you to be happy with this commitment and we do want the cats and dogs to find their forever homes.
I would bet that Caroline Earle had no idea the impact she made for homeless pets. She would be pleased with all the community support that we get at York Adopt A Pet. Thank you for adopting, volunteering, generous contributions and supporting our fundraiser/events.

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