I'm an animal advocate.
It means more than adoring cute puppies and kittens.
It's more than being a dog person or a cat person.
It's more than owning a dog or cat.
It means I advocate for spaying and neutering to reduce overpopulation.
It means I advocate for adopting rather than purchasing from a breeder.
It means I advocate for increased resources in the community.
It means I advocate for the wellness, welfare, and lives of cats and dogs.
That sounds kind of deep, doesn't it?
Well... it is.
According to Best Friends Animal Society, nearly 56,000 dogs and cats were killed in North Carolina's shelters in 2018. Dex (pictured above) could have been part of this year's statistic, but his life was saved by the Humane Society of Eastern Carolina. As he patiently waited to find his forever family, he was lucky to be in a safe, no-kill environment. This organization is one of only 39 no-kill communities across the state.
Unfortunately, the State of North Carolina doesn't rank very well when it comes to responsible animal ownership. Thanks to overpopulation, overbreeding, and abuse/neglect... it's the third highest kill-state in the entire nation. Texas was ranked first, euthanizing 114,000 cats and dogs. California ranked second, euthanizing 111,000 cats and dogs.
If those numbers make your cringe... I hope you're doing something about it. I hope you choose to adopt/rescue furry family members. I also hope you're supporting your local animal rescue organization. There are endless ways to do this and I want you to know that you (yes... you) can make a difference in life saving efforts.
I made the below graphic on how you can specifically donate to help the Humane Society of Eastern Carolina ahead of Giving Tuesday. I serve on the Board of Directors and am highly involved in fundraising efforts for this organization.
If you're not in Eastern North Carolina, check with your local animal rescue to learn the best ways to help their cause and initiatives. I promise just a $5 donation can help any rescue organization.
If animal overpopulation, abuse, and neglect weren't issues in North Carolina, there wouldn't be a need for animal shelters or rescue organizations.
We can dream, right?
Well, as we dream, we have to work together to make a difference.
I love my rescue dog and am thankful every day that he was saved by a rescue organization. Without support and funding from the community, I know that his life would have been in jeopardy. In honor of Badger, I strive to save the lives of other homeless animals. We can decrease North Carolina's euthanasia number. Will you join me in this mission? All you have to do is choose to adopt, volunteer, foster, and/or donate.
If you're looking to add a furry family member this holiday season, please adopt from your local animal shelter or animal rescue organization. No specific breed is more important than a life. Your rescue pet will love you so much.
After all, to them... you're a hero.
Maria Satira is a full-time journalist and part-time blogger, freelance writer, and content creator. She loves sarcasm, rescue dogs, and red wine. She despises bland food, poor grammar, and litterbugs.