Do your part for pets

I recently wrote an article on pet adoptions as a part of my internship with The Joplin Globe – insert shameless self-promoting plug here, but not really.

Anyway, I spoke with people from local Humane Societies and attended the Joplin Humane Society’s “Paws in the Park” event. I met a family there who adopted a beautiful dog who was only 2-years-old, but since the dog had been with the shelter for about four weeks, he might have soon been euthanized.

Two-years-old. I know for a dog that is supposedly 14 years, but still. That dog probably had at least 10 years left. Thankfully, he was adopted to a nice home Saturday, Sept. 19. But that is not the fate of many animals.

According to the Humane Society of the United States, an estimated three-to-four million cats and dogs are euthanized each year. The Joplin Human Society euthanizes about 9,000 of these animals.

Fortunately, the JHS is building a new shelter – scheduled to open in January – that will be able to hold 10,000 animals a year. That’s 10,000 animals that won’t have to be euthanized.

These animals need our help. Not just from the people who work at the shelters or those individuals who can donate thousands of dollars at one time, but from the entire community. I understand that we all can’t volunteer. Between school and work and the rest of our lives, it can be a struggle. But there are things you can do.

If everyone donated just $5, the Humane Society could accomplish a lot. For example, $25 will vaccinate and de-worm one animal while $500 provides “care, food and medical attention to three shelter dogs or cats from intake to adoption.” With roughly 5,000 students attending Missouri Southern, donating $5 each, that’s a grand total of $25,000 or 1,000 animals vaccinated. Wow.

But, of course, none of you will do that. So instead, while you’re wandering around the mall on Saturday, stop by Maurice’s and make a donation of pet food or supplies. You can even bring them paper towels and you get a 20 percent off coupon for donating.

If you don’t have the means to adopt or the time to volunteer, donate to the Humane Society. You probably weren’t going to spend that $5 wisely anyway.