A worthy cause needs your support

Published 12:42 am Saturday, August 15, 2009

A kitten whined incessantly outside the Selma Times-Journal building last Saturday. It was delivered to the Selma Animal Shelter Monday morning, but its fate is unknown.

It is a plight faced by thousands of animals across the state, all in need of animal lovers with room and and big hearts. According to the Alabama Animal Shelters and Animal Control Agenices Web site, 70,000 puppies and kittens are born each day.

Each year, in this country alone, millions of healthy, adoptable cats and dogs are killed because there are not enough homes for them all. An estimated 15 million dogs and cats must be killed each year in this country because they are go unadopted.

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The shelters do not take in animals in hopes of euthanizing them. At the same time, many of them rely on donations, volunteers and big hearts, and when demand exceeds supply, the choice is not left up to them.

The Selma Animal Shelter is no different. The shelter provides food, water shelter and medical attention for more than 3,000 unwanted strays each year. This includes animals that are owner-released, picked up by animal control officers.

The shelter is requesting donations, supplies, volunteers and every other available avenue of help. Presently its wish list includes Kuranda beds, dog beds, chew toys, blankets, linens, cat and dog toys, cat litter, cat and dog food (dry or can) and any items your own pets use or play with.

Of course, the shelter is also looking for caretakers for its tenants.

Aspiring pet owners must fill out a preliminary form and await approval.

The adoption cost is as follows: dogs — $55; cats — $45. These charges include a free vet check from the shelter’s participating vets, which must be done within seven days after adoption.

The pet must also be neutered or spayed (if it hasn’t already been done) for half-price of the vet’s cost. The shelter transports the pet to the vet of your choice at the time of adoption to be neutered or spayed if it is at least four months old. A $10 rabies shot is also required.

Yes, the figures seem a little high. Perhaps, it seems like too much trouble to adopt a pet. Some would even say the regulations seem too strict.

The Selma Animal Shelter and similar organizations care about their animals and want to make sure that all of them wind up in a good home.There are reasons why they have rules and restrictions. They are not in it for the money. They are in it for the animals and future parents (owners) best interest.

So, if you have a heart for animals and the means to take care of them, pay a visit to the shelter at 206 Medical Center Parkway. And, not to sound like Bob Barker, but if you already have your fill of pets, be sure to spay or neuter them.