1:43 pm
Mon June 17, 2013

Brevard County Shelters Overwhelmed With Unwanted Pets

When I received a news release last week with the above headline, my heart sank. It's hard to imagine anyone who cares about animals not feeling sad and somewhat helpless at the thought of all those unwanted pets.

Brevard County Animal Services and Enforcement Director Karla Torpy reports that County shelters in Melbourne and Titusville took in almost 1,100 animals during the month of May. This is several hundred more than "usual." I was stunned - and honestly, quite upset! Granted, animals can wind up in shelters for a number of reasons beyond the control of even the most conscientious pet owner. A death or serious health problem can leave an animal without a caregiver. The cost of pet food and vaccinations may be too steep for a person or family with a job loss. But let's face it - the primary reason animals are abandoned to shelters comes down to the problem of overpopulation.

People, please.... there's virtually no excuse for not spaying or neutering your pets!  The Brevard County Animal Services website lists a few of the numerous organizations who are working hard to help ensure that pets are not being put to death due to overpopulation in the shelters. The Central Brevard Humane Society, Brevard County's oldest animal welfare organization advocates strongly for spaying/neutering to reduce the homeless population and provides low-cost services. Their vision is "No more homeless pets...spayed/neutred...adopted."  The Humane Society also provides shelter and  strongly advocates for the humane and ethical treatment of all animals.

Speaking of ethics, PETA (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals) believes that animals are not ours to eat, wear, experiment on, use for entertainment or abuse in any way. PETA is also extremely vocal on the need for population control for pets. Their website cites some staggering statistics: one unaltered female dog and her offspring can produce 67,000 puppies in six years. One female cat and her offspring can produce 370,000 kittens in seven years!

More than twice as many cats as compared to dogs are euthanized each year at Brevard County shelters. Let's get those kitties spayed as soon as possible! The SPCA of North Brevard and Animal Guardians of North Brevard are co-sponsoring a "Fix A Kitty" Cat Sterilization program for low-income people. Brevard ASAP knows that the no-kill goal of the shelters can only be achieved when the public comes to better understand that pets are a lifelong commitment and that this commitment must include preventing unwanted litters. Brevard ASAP sponsors "Snip-A-Kit" - a spay/neuter program for cats along with their numerous other services and resources.

Friends for Animals Sanctuary is working tirelessly towards the lofty goal of creating a 15-20 acre no kill cage-free sanctuary for domestic animals including dogs, cats, horses, rabbits and more. All animals coming into the sanctuary will be spayed or neutered and if an animal is not adopted, it will be allowed to live out its life at the sanctuary. Now there's an inspiring vision that when realized, will generate some amazing headlines!

All the fine organizations mentioned above depend on funding, advocacy and community volunteers. Please, let's all do our part for the sake of our precious pets.