In these distressing times, our companion animals so often are left by the wayside. Those of us who can are needed to be their voice.
A staggering number of cats, dogs and other companion animals are being brought to shelters. Even worse, pets are being left behind, abandoned due to the overwhelming effects of inflation and the rising costs to pay for food, medicine, and healthcare. The scarcity of Pet Friendly housing adds significantly to this tragic situation.
People are being uprooted, experiencing job loss, some becoming homeless and they no longer can afford the cost of housing. They live the heart-wrenching reality of having no choice but to give up their beloved pets. They cannot afford to care for them any longer. In this country, it should never have come to this. Think about the heartbreak from the animal’s perspective. They do not understand why their people are giving them up.
There are so few rental apartments, co-ops and condos that are Pet Friendly. Long Islanders must urge landlords, residential building owners and co-op and condo boards to accept companion animals in apartment buildings. Have incentives for those buildings that welcome pets.
A powerful friend to animals is Sandra Atlas Bass, Sol G. Atlas Realty Co. Inc. For decades Sandra Bass has made all her apartment buildings Pet Friendly and does not charge additional fees for pets. Building owners are needed to follow her lead.
Animal Rescue shelters are overwhelmed due to disasters and war-torn areas throughout the world. Many are going above and beyond to rescue animals and bring them to safety. Burdened financially, having limited space, they need a tremendous amount of assistance. The animals they rescue need homes.
Local officials, including town mayors and supervisors, county executives, counci, assembly members and state senators must be called upon to advocate for animals.
Encourage your local village halls, libraries, food markets and places of worship to have pet food bins to help those in need to feed their companion animals. Imagine having to part with your pet because you cannot afford to feed them.
Create a community that can change the landscape for companion animals. Be a champion for buildings that welcome pets, and advocate for pet food bins to be placed in our communities. Help dogs, cats, and other companion animals to stay with their families, and more rescues to be adopted.
Express your comments to your local papers. Mention your Pet Friendly building or if you would like your building to be Pet Friendly.
Mahatma Gandhi said, “The greatness of a nation and its moral progress can be judged by the way its animals are treated.”
If you are fortunate, open your heart and home to share your life with a companion animal. They truly are family. They save lives in countless ways.
Food, Health, Environment Instructor/Writer