Welcome back to Buckley Veterinary Hospital’s monthly pet care column. This month, as we celebrate the holiday season with our pets and families, we want to recognize the importance of the safe and caring environment you provide for your furry family members, share some insight on the many dogs and cats in need of adoption locally and throughout the states, and introduce new ways you can help support our pet community in 2014.
Every year, approximately 7 million dogs and cats enter animal shelters nationwide and nearly 4 million of those are euthanized. That means that every day, nearly 11,000 pets are put down. Simply put, for every two dogs that enter an animal shelter, one of them is killed off merely because there is no one there to adopt them.
To offset this daunting problem, there has been a growing emphasis to show those looking to add a four-legged companion to their family that adoption should be their first option. There are all types of animals out there without a home, every breed imaginable, from young puppies to senior-aged pets. More often than not, the age and breed of the pet you are looking for is out there, homeless, looking for a new home of their own.
The county animal shelters have limited resources and are only able to do so much. To help with the heavy burden of finding new homes for the many pets in need, rescue groups have emerged to help bridge the gap between those looking for a new pet and those pets who are in need of a home.
In 2012, Buckley Veterinary Hospital teamed up with a new rescue organization in our community. Left Behind K-9 Rescue launched their rescue operations Jan. 1, 2012, and the group selected Buckley Veterinary Hospital to be its official veterinarian. In its first year, the group rescued and adopted 49 dogs and that number has grown immensely in 2013.
Left Behind K-9 Rescue is a registered nonprofit corporation of Washington state. The group is made up of a collection of volunteers, including Buckley Vet’s own Dr. Kristen Davignon who now serves as part of their board of directors. There are no paid employees, meaning all dollars go directly to the help the dogs in need. Every rescue dog that the group takes in will first visit Buckley Veterinarian Hospital where they will be updated on vaccinations and receive a comprehensive exam before entering their foster homes. While in foster, the dog will be given a chance to live a normal life in the care of a loving family while a permanent home is found.
As with any nonprofit, the support of the community will play a vital role in the success of these rescue projects. Left Behind K-9 Rescue is currently looking for families who would like to sign up to become foster homes for their rescue dogs. With the lack of space in the animal shelters, foster homes provide temporary care for a homeless dog while they are waiting to get adopted. It allows for the foster parent to learn more about the dog’s personality, likes, and dislikes so that they can be better matched with the right forever home. Ultimately, the foster homes help save lives and provide a rewarding experience for the foster parent because they know their help is allowing these dogs a second chance at life.
A quote listed on the LBKR website reads, “Without you, they have no future. With your help, the possibilities are endless.” As an advocate of adopting rescue pets, Buckley Veterinarian Hospital is doing our part to help ensure that Left Behind K-9 Rescue is successful in their rescue missions, so that the dogs in their care are given a second chance at life in a loving home that they deserve.
Left Behind K-9 Rescue has been holding adoption events through November and December – their final event for the year is Saturday and Sunday, Dec. 28 and 29, at the Bonney Lake Petco. Please visit their website to find out more about how you can help save the homeless pets of our community. If you are looking for a new dog for your family, this is a great place to start. LBKR is partnering with numerous animal shelters and rescue groups throughout the state and west coast. They are able to help you find the exact type of dog you are looking for. Visit their website for more information: www.leftbehindk9rescue.org
Thank you to our readers – we welcome you back next month. As always, send questions, comments, or suggestions for future columns to us at firstname.lastname@example.org. Happy Holidays to all!