Spring is coming, and with it comes an overabundance of newly born kittens and puppies overflowing our animal shelters. While cute and cuddly, there aren't enough homes to place all these innocent critters due to irresponsible owners who don't spay or neuter their pets. Unfortunately, this nationwide problem results in an overpopulation of unwanted animals, and although it shouldn't happen, many are likely to be abused, abandoned or euthanized.
This winter, with the weather particularly cold, it was shocking to us that there were cases of abandoned animals, from a box of kittens found on Old Lake Colby Road to chickens dropped off on the Bloomingdale Bog trail near Saranac Lake. Luckily, these animals were rescued, but probably others we didn't hear about suffered miserable deaths.
While we are probably preaching to the choir of our readers, who already have spayed or neutered their pets, we'd like you to encourage others to do the same. Having such a great resource as the Tri-Lakes Humane Society in Saranac Lake has prevented overpopulation with a great spay and neuter program. This has helped in being a no-kill shelter and preventing many problems.
It is a big responsibility to own a pet, and all pet owners should know what is involved.
If you can't afford to pay to have the animal fixed, get its shots, license, food, and shelter and vet bills if it gets sick or injured, then you probably should hold off. Just as importantly, if you don't have time to give the pet exercise and attention, then that, too, will add stress.
If someone already has a pet but can't afford to have it fixed, we encourage that person to contact the Tri-Lakes Humane Society at 518-891-0017 and ask about the spay and neuter program.
Even if your animals are well taken care of, you should consider donating toward the program to help expand it to feral animal communities.
You can make a difference when you donate or adopt the large variety of breeds, colors, sizes of dogs and cats at the Tri-Lakes Humane Society or surrounding shelters, including the North Country SPCA. Help prevent 4 million to 6 million animals euthanized every year in this country. You can help by spay or neutering your pet, adopting a shelter animal instead of purchasing one from a breeder, and by supporting the Tri-Lakes Humane Society or the North Country SPCA with donations of money or volunteer time.
Stop by the Tri-Lakes Humane Society at 255 George LaPan Memorial Highway, Saranac Lake, or the North Country SPCA at 7700 Route 9N, Elizabethtown (518-873-5000).