The alarm jolts you into a new day and as you’re making your coffee, you hear a strange sound. There seems to be some sort of yelping commotion but is it really coming from the front door? Bleary-eyed, you open the door only to find a cardboard box of 5 hungry puppies. This is actually a normal day for anyone who works at an animal rescue shelter.
Why Are Puppies Abandoned?
As we finally start winding down for Christmas, are you one of those who looks forward to it or who dreads it? If you don’t have a family or if the arguments are too intense, this could be a tough time for you.
People aren’t the only ones who can feel alone, abandoned and scared. Our colleague who opened her door that morning to find 5 puppies was heartbroken. It’s often out of ignorance but puppies who still have their eyes closed should never be separated from their mothers. They need their mothers for guidance and to get the nutrients from her milk.
As this Paws article on puppy developmental stages shows you, abandoned puppies who are bottle-fed don’t get the opportunity to learn how to be a dog. They therefore often turn into problem dogs who will never leave the shelter.
There are many reasons for abandoned puppies as this Four Paws International article on the top 9 reasons lists. These range from lack of experience to a change in life situation and of course, unwanted litters. It’s sad and tragic for the dogs involved but it’s easy to judge. Instead, let’s spread the word about how to avoid abandoned puppies.
Neuter and spay dogs
Interestingly, neutering and spaying dogs is a complex matter. As this AKC article on should you spay-neuter explains, it can create health problems. Nevertheless, if dogs are allowed to roam free, it does avoid unwanted puppies. That’s why rescue shelters, including Sanctuary Hostel, are driving programs to neuter-spay as many strays as possible.
Why not share with your friends and family just how many puppies a year each dog can have? Most people don’t appreciate that females can have multiple litters a year with up to 12 puppies each time. The exact number depends on the breed, as explained in this AKC article on litter sizes, but we’ll let you do the maths.
Reputable animal rescue shelter
Most importantly, if you or anyone you know finds yourself with abandoned puppies, find a reputable animal rescue shelter. For example, at Sanctuary Hostel we want dogs to be allowed to be dogs. That means they’ll be free and not kept in cages. Moreover, you can tell the shelter where the puppies come from which gives an indication of their medical status.
Why Should You Care About Abandoned Puppies?
Are you an avid animal lover? Perhaps you prefer supporting people? After all, there are many humans who need aid. Nevertheless, as we explained in our blog on sustainable animal shelters, supporting animals and nature makes us feel good.
Let’s also not forget that there are two approaches to abandoned puppies currently being used. In most Western countries, they euthanise the animals. This is really just a nice way of saying that they slaughter them. Can you believe that in the US alone, shelters kill around 920,000 animals every year, according to the ASPCA?
The other approach which is what you find in countries like Mexico is to let the dogs roam free. In some countries, such as Turkey, the law protects their stray animals. So, food and water stations are dotted around cities and people, including restaurants, give them food. It’s a wonderful outcome because the animals are both free and cared for.
Sadly, in Mexico, many dogs and cats are either starving or disease-ridden. There simply aren’t enough people who want to look after them whether at home or in the streets.
Don’t despair though and don’t feel guilty as you sit down by your cosy fire with your Christmas drink. Instead, you can do your little to support abandoned puppies by helping out reputable animal shelters. You can then sit back and enjoy the benefits.
Stop the spread of disease
The most important aspect of not letting abandoned puppies become strays is to avoid disease. Dogs are generally clean animals but they need vaccinations, including zoonotic diseases such as rabies. Other bacterial diseases that can spread to humans include salmonella, Lyme disease and many more.
Increase your positivity
On a slightly more uplifting note, studies show that supporting animals helps you see life in a more positive way. And who doesn’t love the idea of giving these gorgeous puppies a chance at life?
Connect you to something bigger
Whether you love dogs or not, the moment you think about another species, you forget your own troubles, even if only for a short while. Yes, life is hard but remembering that we too are part of nature can connect you to the bigger picture. Most of our daily worries are small in the grand scheme of things. Moreover, there’s nothing more heart-melting than the helpless eyes of abandoned puppies.
Let’s Do What We Can For Abandoned Puppies Over the Holiday Season
Youtube and Google know very well that videos and photos of dogs and cats can boost your mood. You can now take that one step further and support an animal rescue shelter for Christmas. Either way, help us spread the word that there are reputable shelters out there who don’t kill their animals. Let’s all do what we can to bring a bit of joy to everyone, not just people.