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Furkids of Atlanta Helps Homeless Animals Find Their Way Home

By Elisha Neubauer

For many animals, a loving home is not available to them. Some way or another, through no fault of their own, they find themselves in the local shelter. For a handful, salvation comes quickly, and they find themselves adopted out and swept away to live a new life in a new home filled with love and affection. While this is the desired result, the bleak fact of the matter is that it is not the majority.

Many animals spend weeks, months even, in the shelter with no such luck. Local government shelters generally are not able to handle the influx of unwanted, lost, or homeless pets, and have a maximum intake number in order to sustain budgets. This results in the left-behind pets, sadly, having to be put down in order to give the next batch of animals a shot at redemption. According to Samantha Shelton, Founder and Executive Director of Furkids, one of these loving creatures (either cat or dog) is put down every thirteen seconds in the United States of America. "Most people use the term euthanized, but that's a nice way to mask the hard fact that these animals are being executed simply because they are homeless," Shelton stated.

It is for this reason that organizations such as Furkids are in existence today. They fill a necessary hole, a space where the system fails these poor defenseless creatures, giving these animals another chance when it is so desperately needed. "The bright side of the story is that Furkids (and other animal rescue organizations) are there to help," said Shelton. "We can't rescue every animal, but we are the way home for thousands of homeless animals."

Currently, at Furkids, there are over a thousand pets waiting to find their forever home. The organization, which launched fourteen years ago, has saved and placed over twenty-thousand pets in its time of operation. "We have a lot of experience in matching animals with loving adopters," Shelton explained. "Before you choose a furry family companion, knowing the facts and having a little preparation will make a smooth transition for your family and a happy match for your animal."

Part of that preparation is understanding why it is important to neuter or spay your pet. "One female cat can have about twelve kittens per year, and each of those cats can breed twelve more, and each can breed twelve more," detailed Shelton. "You can see how two homeless cats can produce a population explosion if the animals aren't neutered. Dogs don't breed as quickly, but they can have large litters." For this reason, every animal that sets foot in the Furkids shelter is spayed or neutered before being allowed to leave.

Shelton and the Furkids team believe it is truly important to be in the know when picking out your new family addition and they have a few pointers to think about before bringing one home.

"First, are you ready to make a commitment for the life of the animal? A dog or cat can be part of your life for fifteen years, which means you need to think long term," she affirmed. "If you move, will you move to a place that allows a pet? If you get married, will your spouse love and accept the pet? If you start a family, are you willing to make your pet part of your family? If you retire or move to assisted living, can you keep your pet? What kind of pet will your lifestyle will accommodate?" While these are all important factors to consider, there is one other sentiment she wants to get across. "No one can dispute the deep, loving bond between people and animals, and a pet can bring more joy into your life than you can imagine."

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About The Author

Elisha Neubauer is a freelance editor, ghostwriter, book reviewer, and author. She is...

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