This picture of cat condos is NOT at the Washington Animal Rescue League. It was taken at ARF -- Tony LaRussa's Animal Rescue Foundation in Walnut Creek, California. I was there for the annual humane educators' conference. There were nearly 100 of us there attending the two-day event. Seeing the cats and dogs at ARF and talking to all of the wonderful shelter personnel, volunteers and conference attendees reminded me once again that the companion animal overpopulation problem is not limited to Washington, DC. Unfortunately, shelters throughout the United States remain overcrowded -- if anything, there are more humane groups and shelters today than there were when I started in animal welfare work more than 30 years ago. The care we give homeless animals has improved immeasureably over the years. But the fact remains -- we live in a disposable society where cats and dogs are tossed aside like an old pair of shoes; and, even with low-cost spay/neuter programs readily available, cats and dogs reproduce. And, they reproduce exponentially!
I came home from California to a yard sprouting with daffodils and above average March temperatures, which can only mean one thing -- SPRING. And, with Spring comes an influx of kittens and puppies. Kittens and puppies are cute -- only Cruella Deville, would say otherwise -- but a litter of unwanted homeless kittens and puppies is heartbreaking -- they break the hearts of shelter staff and volunteers every day.
Enjoy Spring. Stop to smell the flowers, enjoy the rising temperatures and tell a friend or neighbor to get their cat or dog spayed or neutered.