Local News

Animal Groups Promoting Animal Appreciation Week

Posted November 3, 1997 12:00 a.m. EST

— Every year thousands of animals are put to sleep across the United States because shelters are full. Monday marks the beginning of National Animal Appreciation Week -- a time to make everyone more aware animal overpopulation and ways they can help.

They beckon us with their pleading eyes, probing paws and tiny cries demanding to be heard. They are shelter animals looking for homes. Gwen Beebe is the assistant manager at an area shelter. She says they always try to make people understand that adopting a pet is a long-term commitment.

People don't always think about the commitment of pet adoption. That's why thousands of animals are abandoned every year. Two thirds of shelter animals will be put to sleep because there is nowhere to keep them. Beebe says when people adopt animals they not only get a pet, they also save lives.

Thanks to people like Rekiya Miller, some animals will find a home. Miller says she wishes she could take more than one.

When someone adopts at the Durham County shelter, for a fee they also get vaccinations and a spayed or neutered pet. Pets are fixed to prevent unwanted litters.

North Carolina Law dictates that animals be held just five days before being euthanized. That's why shelter employees say time is of the essence.

This Saturday shelters everywhere will open their doors for extended hours to promote pet adoptions. To find out about events in your area call your local animal shelter. And,even if you already own plenty of pets, you can still help.

One way is to donate food or old blankets or towels. You could also volunteer your time. Assistants typically bathe, walk and play with the pets.

Photographer:Mark Copeland