Recognize, celebrate our animal shelter

Published 9:26 am Thursday, November 2, 2017

Each year, The Humane Society of the United States recognizes National Animal Shelter Awareness Week during the first week of November.

The week is dedicated to celebrating and honoring animal shelters the hardworking people who keep them running.

There are approximately 3,500 animal shelters around the country that are able to serve the estimated 6 to 8 million homeless that need to be sheltered each year. Beyond providing a safe and warm place for these animals -— from cats and dogs to horses and rabbits and beyond — shelters are responsible for finding food, veterinary care and supplying their various other needs.

Email newsletter signup

Animal shelters are safe havens for animals that are stray, lost or abandoned and are vital resources in the community.

Shelters, including the one in Clark County, also provide critical services such as investigating cruelty and neglect, reuniting lost pets with their families, teaching children to care about animals, and providing spay/neuter services to help reduce pet overpopulation.

All of this is accomplished on a strict and limited budget and with small staffs. Much of what shelters are able to accomplish depends on the members of the community willing to volunteer. Volunteers play many roles from providing foster homes for pets that can’t stay at the shelter to working adoption events where pets are introduced to their forever homes and donations are collected.

There are several ways people in Clark County can help recognize National Animal Shelter Awareness Week:

— Consider volunteering your time at the Clark County Animal Shelter or one of the rescues that supports the shelter.

— If you are interested in giving a home to a new pet, consider adopting from the local shelter. While 63 percent of American households include pets, fewer than 20 percent of them were adopted from shelters.

— Donate supplies like food, blankets, toys, treats or cleaning supplies to the shelter. Monetary donations toward veterinary expenses are also helpful.

— Follow the Clark County Animal Shelter on Facebook and share information about pets looking for a forever home.

— Be a responsible pet owner. Keep your pet at home as a member of your family for a lifetime. Spay/neuter your pets, make sure they’re wearing collars and ID tags (to get them home if they become lost), don’t let your pets roam loose.

National Animal Shelter Appreciation Week is a perfect opportunity for you, your family and the community to become acquainted with the local shelter and to help homeless pets.