Thursday, September 22, 2016

Remember Me Thursday

Little Bit writes:

Today is Remember Me Thursday, lifting up shelter pets and those who didn't make it.  It's unfortunate that many shelters and humane societies in the U.S. and around the world are kill shelters.  The main ones in our area are no-kill or close to it, but that still means that around half of the shelters in our area do euthanize adoptable pets.

Today, the world comes together to remember, help, and adopt those in shelters.  164 countries around the world celebrate Remember Me Thursday.  Think of how many pets are being helped today in various ways!

So, how can you help?  You may think, "But I'm just one!  How can I make a difference?"  You do make a difference, every day.  You can be an advocate for animals in many ways.

  • Speak up about pet adoption!  If someone you know wants to adopt, share information on shelters in your area.  Along with the many "Heinz 57" pets like me, there are purebred cats and dogs just waiting for a loving home and family to belong to.
  • Share information on kill and no-kill shelters.  Get to know the shelters and humane organizations in your area and advocate for them.  Even being against pet euthanasia, we still recommend kill shelters as well as no-kill shelters to people looking to adopt.  Why?  Because they might find their forever pet there, and save it from the needle!
  • Foster a pet or five.  Our family fosters and adopts out cats that people bring us.  Right now, we have three fosters:  Dare, Autumn, and Panther.  Dare came to us from a friend, as did Autumn.  Autumn was a "Craigslist kitten", probably from a backyard breeder.  Dare and Panther, who showed up in our yard as a socialized feral, lived outside before finding people to take them in.  I, myself, was saved from a kill shelter, along with my four boys.  I'll tell you more about that later.
  • Make or buy blankets to warm the floors of the cages for pets waiting adoption.  Grammy created the "Read Me a Blanket" program:  children read books, crafters sew, knit or crochet blankets, and for every book read, a blanket is donated to the humane society.  It's a wonderful way for the community to come together to help shelter pets.  The blankets are not only placed in the cages while the pets wait; families are encouraged to choose one blanket when they adopt their forever pet, giving the pet a connection and a safe place at their new home.  Many families then use those blankets when transporting their pet to and from the vet.  Think Linus' security blanket!  Other organizations make and donate blankets as well.  Many shelters also take clean towels to be used in the cages.
  • Donate something off the shelter's wish list.  Many animal rescue and adoption organizations have a wish list on their website.  Any item you donate from that list is appreciated.  It could be a can of pet food, a toy, or even an office item like printer paper.  Everything helps.
  • Spread the word!  Share this post, others like it, and the Remember Me Thursday website on social media with the hashtags #RememberTheRescue and #RememberMeThursday to add your voice to the movement.  We all count!
Little Bit and her 3-week-old boys, first day being fostered
I was one of the lucky ones, and my babies were even luckier.  Who can resist three-week-old kittens?  Well, apparently one animal control center can.  My original people, upon finding out I was pregnant, didn't know what to do with us.  They hadn't bothered to spay any of their pets, so they had two litters of kittens and one litter of puppies all at the same time!  They packed up the kittens and mama cats and set off to find a shelter for us.  Two of my mama's kittens had been adopted already, but she still had two and I had four.  The animal control center told the people that, if they took us in, my kittens would be euthanized right away.  It was the start of "kitten season", and they knew they would be soon overrun with litters needing cages, permanent placements and foster homes.  They simply didn't have the room for us.

Carbon with Little Bit's kitten sisters, first week of fostering

The people left the shelter with us, packed us all into the car, and drove two blocks away.  They opened the car door and threw my mama out onto the street!  They then went to eat, leaving the rest of us in the car.  I hid, and the others couldn't climb out.  When the people came back, they did a very sensible thing.  They remembered that the people two houses down were "cat people" and rescued animals, because my sister and cousin were already with those people.  All seven of us who were left ended up at the new house.  That became my forever family, and the nice people adopted out my two kitten sisters and all four of my boys.  One of my boys later on had to be euthanized because of a genetic intestinal issue, but he had a good foster family, and even a forever home for two weeks.

Please help spread the word and be a force for shelter animals!  "Opt to Adopt" is not just a campaign slogan, but a way of life and a way to save lives.  Please share the message with the hashtags #RememberMeThursday and #RememberTheRescue and check out the Remember Me Thursday website for educational materials, information, more shareable memes, and a photo contest to benefit rescues.  Thank you for all you do for animals.