This Saturday, August 18 is marked as International Homeless Animals’ Day, which was started by the International Society for Animal Rights in 1992. During this 24 hour period, the general public can become more conscious of the problems stray animals are faced with.
Taking in a furry stranger from the street is not so easy, as many like to stay in their packs and roam the territory they may have known all their lives. An ongoing difficulty as well is the no pet rule. Many apartment dwellers either can’t have a pet or do not have the room to keep them.
Nevertheless, there is an alternative to helping out animals with needs. “Fostering gives the animal opportunity to have a loving home which may or may not turn permanent. It allows the animal to socialize with people and learn behaviors which will make it a more suitable pet,” said Vicky Kreeger, executive director of St. Tammany Humane Society’s low cost, non-profit, no-kill facility, from St. Tammany Parish, Louisiana.
America standing by itself has an estimated 5 to 7 million animals that are brought into shelters, and unfortunately 3 to 4 million of those are euthanized. “The fault lies within the whole community. We cannot spread the word fast enough through the whole community about spay/neuter programs and clinics,” said Kreeger.
Though there are options available for those who want to participate in their community. Options vary from volunteering at local animal shelters, to speaking about animals’ rights to make their town more knowledgeable of this. “Dogs serve us,” said Michelle Buckalew, president of animalworldusa.org, “These animals are amazing and help us.” She goes on to say that dogs are used in therapy, to help the blind, to find drugs, and are now being used in youth programs.
On the other end of the globe, the number of stray animals in Moscow, Russia is horrendous. As stated on animalsprotectiontribune.ru, up to 100,000 dogs and 200,000 cats are left to fend for themselves, often hunting one another in the process to stay alive.
Numbers though are not needed to confirm this, only a set of eyes. Dozens of video footage can be found on youtube.com of animals in Russia wandering the streets, riding the metro, and scrounging the dumpsters for food. Though known for their street smarts, one youtuber named doves5000 put up a video called Russian woman attacked by wild dogs in Moscow. In the end she was saved, though the risks of injury are still possible.
In the Ukraine, stray dogs are also a problem, yet report after report has shown that they are being poisoned to death, as shown on snoopeproject’s channel on youtube.com. It’s not entirely gray and gloomy. To commemorate this day, the Vegan Club of St. Petersburg, Russia are contributing their time and resources to help homeless and shelter animals on August 19. As well Buckalew hopes to bring her initiative to Russia, and sponsor a weeks for the animals’ project, as she has just finished one up in Africa.
As advanced as we have come to be, giving animals the treatment they need, no matter where they are from is one key to this day of recognition and awakening. Giving to an animal in turmoil can be seen as a stroke of luck. “It takes a community,” Buckalew said without hesitation. Taking tiny steps to assist with the overpopulation may just be the perfect dose of medicine for society as a whole.