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Giving the Gift of Life

By Hila Ronquillo, HCWS Volunteer

With Christmas just around the corner many parents are considering the gift of a puppy for their children this year. But before making this decision parents should consider multiple factors…Is my child responsible enough to care for a puppy? Will my kids get bored after just a few short months, and then what is going to happen to the dog? After considering this and making the commitment to care for another life, the question about where to get a puppy will come up.

Many families will turn to friends whose dog just had a litter. These friends may be “backyard breeders” (average pet owners that breed and sell their dogs). Of the 53 million dogs in the U.S., about 2/3 come from “backyard breeders.” They are a leading contributor of the pet overpopulation crisis in this country.

This year alone 8 million healthy animals will be killed in shelters – at a cost of $11 billion dollars to U.S. taxpayers.  The problem is simple:  there are too many dogs and cats and too few homes available. The solution is even simpler:  stop the needless breeding of animals and fewer will be euthanized.

Too rarely “backyard breeders” are brought to the attention of the authorities, and in those cases in which the animals are kept in truly deplorable conditions some of them will be surrendered to a shelter or rescue group.

This recently happened to Heaven Can Wait when we took custody of 3 Newfoundland puppies. The little bundles of joy had a condition called “cherry eye” and were in need of corrective surgery. HCWS took care of the cost for the surgeries. Luckily these 3 babies got to have a happy ending and were adopted.  Other dogs are not so lucky.

If you want to help Heaven Can Wait in their more than 10-year fight to save these innocent disregarded animals (dogs AND cats), please give the gift of life to your children by adopting a homeless pet.  And always spay and neuter your animals to give them a chance of a long, healthy life and not add to the killings every day. For every puppy born to a backyard breeder, another dog is at risk of dying alone in a shelter.

For more information on pet adoption and spay/neuter programs, please visit the Heaven Can Wait website.

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