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Why Are Animal Shelters So Much Busier in the Summer?

By: Brittany Engelmann-- 2016-07-22 6:30 am --

It is estimated that roughly 7.6 million companion pets end up in animal shelters every year. While the exact number is unknown, there are thought to be about 70 million homeless and feral cats roaming the streets at any given time. Of those animals that end up in shelters, about 2.7 million are euthanized each year. As you can imagine, animal shelters are in over their heads trying to cater to the homeless animal population, while adopting out as many as possible. In summertime, they are even busier and need the help of volunteers and donors more than ever.

Why Are Animal Shelters So Much Busier in the Summer?

Animal shelters often find themselves much busier in the summertime than winter, and the reasons for this vary considerably. Here are some of the top contributing factors.

  1. Both cats and dogs are more likely to give birth in the summer. While cats and dogs can give birth at any time, breeding rates tend to increase in the summer as the weather gets warmer and the days become longer.
  2. People spend more time outdoors. As the sun comes out, so do the people, and they oftentimes bring their dogs along with them. With more dogs out hiking, on camping trips, and accompanying their owners for vacation, there is a much higher likelihood of the dog escaping and becoming separated from the owner.
  3. People are more likely to move. Summertime is the most popular season to move. Children are out of school, making it less burdensome for families, and the weather is more pleasant, making the move easier and more efficient. Yet, it’s in the process of moving that many families decide it’s time to part ways with their pets. Since it can be a challenge for people to find pet-friendly apartments and homes, sometimes they feel they have no other option than to surrender their pet to the nearest shelter. In fact, according to Petfinder, moving is the number one reason cited for people surrendering their companion animals, and landlords forbidding pets is the second most common reason.

What Can You Do to Help?

Nobody likes the idea of surrendering a pet or watching a local animal be homeless, but it’s an unfortunate reality and one that widely plagues our society. Fortunately, there are a lot of ways you can help your neighborhood animals and pet shelters.

  1. Participate in trap-neuter-return programs. Since cats are much more likely to breed in the summertime, this means a significant rise in the number of homeless cats. By participating in a trap-neuter-return program, you can help stabilize cat populations for years to come. If you notice a lot of stray cats in your neighborhood, inquire at your local shelter about participating in the program. They’ll provide you with live traps that enable you to catch stray cats, have them spayed or neutered at no charge, and released back into your neighborhood or relocated to a nearby farm or shelter.
  2. Volunteer at your local animal shelter. With a surge in pet surrenders, animal shelters have an increasingly difficult time catering to the needs of each animal. For dogs, this means shorter walks, and for cats, this means fewer belly rubs. By volunteering, you can help ease the struggle of employees, while enriching the lives of animals.
  3. Donate bulk pet supplies. Animal shelters often struggle from insufficient funding, which is one of the primary reasons pets get euthanized. By donating bulk pet supplies like food, toys, and bedding, you can help the shelters cut back on spending and increase the quality of life for each pet.

Homeless pets are roaming every corner of our country, scrounging for food scraps and struggling to find shelter. In the summertime, the number of homeless pets greatly increases, resulting in more work for animal shelters. Fortunately, there are a lot of ways that you can help. By purchasing pet supplies in bulk and donating them to your local animal shelter, you’ll not only be helping the shelter to reduce their overall spending, you’ll be increasing the quality of care for homeless pets as well. Browse a vast assortment of pet supplies today, and help your neighborhood animals in need.