By KALEIGH UNDERWOOD
I was scrolling through my Facebook feed on Tuesday, and a photo album appeared. The album was full of pictures from the Estill County Animal Shelter, of dogs who were on the euthanasia list for the next day on Wednesday. So many of these dogs were at the shelter a few weeks ago when I went to take pictures to be featured in the newspaper. It was heart breaking, as a pet lover, to see all those sad eyes that I knew would be heading on their journey to the pearly gates in such a short amount of time.
It was because of this impending date, that I ended up with two of the kittens from the shelter; an almost eight week old, and a ten week old. While I have already re-homed one of them, I still have one that is looking for a family full of love to be her forever home. I just couldn’t stand knowing that so many innocent little babies would be put down.
I understand that the shelter is at capacity, and that they can only keep these pets for so long. I know that they are doing what they have to do in order to keep the establishment running. However, as a community, I think we could do more.
First, I encourage all pet owners to spay/neuter to help decrease the amount of unwanted pets that end up in the shelters. I know that this can be an expensive venture, but it is well worth the cost knowing that your fur baby isn’t going to give you more fur babies that you do not want and can not take care of.
Second, while I know that everyone has a dream breed, (I am just as guilty of this), stop buying from pet stores and breeders. ADOPT! There are so many pets in shelters all over the area who have been abandoned by previous owners that brought them in off the streets who would love and adore you.
Last, I wanted to make everyone is aware that currently if you adopt a pet from the Estill County Animal Shelter, the pet’s first and third set of shots will be paid for, as well as the spay/neuter at the Mountain View Veterinary Clinic. The Spanish Community Club at Estill County High School has been fundraising all year to help fund this program. So if cost is one of the things keeping you from saving a pet, know that this help is available.
My two cats, and the two cats owned by my roommates, are all from shelters. It makes you feel good every time you look at them, knowing that they have not only a warm bed to sleep in, but food in their tummy, and all the love they could possibly want, when they didn’t always have those basic needs, and the luxuries you provide for them now.
Please, go visit the shelter today. Let one of these precious animals be the next addition into your family. I guarantee if you just go look, someone will steal your heart.