The Never-ending StoryPhoto: Clinton MahlaseWritten by: Keagan Mattison
The weary posts and messages are piling up on social media and member pages of rescue groups and animal shelters.
Can anyone foster a senior dog?
How about a rowdy “teenage” puppy?
Who has room for this one or that one, as animal rescues lament what some call a “dumping season.”

Many groups say this is one of the busiest times of year for owner surrenders — when families give up their pets to shelters and rescues. Every year, owner surrender rates triple during the holiday season.

This year will probably be worse due to pandemic puppies. Yes, that’s right. People give up their dogs because they get too excited when guests come over or they're messing with the Christmas tree or it’s incredibly expensive to board them. So they just drop them off at a shelter or rescue group, have their holiday celebrations, and some then get a new dog when things get back to normal.

The people who continue to sacrifice their time, money, and emotional health for these animals know their work will never end. Tomorrow will bring another case — another heartbreak, another blow to their faith in humanity. But they also know that animals deserve better.

There are countless animals out there, and not enough humans stepping up to undo the damage. 
With news from overwhelmed shelters and rescues, it’s probably worth saying out loud.
Pets are not disposable.
Media platforms are inundated with messages and posts from rescue and shelter workers who say they feel helpless because the requests for help right now are so crushing.

“My rescue cannot keep up trying to save them,” one wrote.
“I'm sickened at the number of rescue and surrender requests we are getting and I am completely heartbroken,” wrote another.
“We need a lifeline,” said another rescuer.
Intense anger. Disbelief. Overwhelming grief. These are some of the feelings that rescuers continuously experience while working to bring some relief to the animals who are abused at the hands of those with an inhumane disregard for the innocent.
How can you help?
  1. Prayers and kind thoughts are always welcome, but actions heal faster.
  2. Give your time to shelters and rescues. 
  3. Donate.
  4. Buy a few things off of your favourite shelter’s wish list.
  5. Speak up against animal abuse.
  6. If you can commit to the care and well-being of animals in the long term, please consider adopting.
  7. If you want to care for animals but cannot commit - look into fostering pets instead.
Many people don’t realise that shelters house most breeds and all ages, including oodles of puppies and kittens who, through no fault of their own have found themselves needing a second-chance home.

Given the frequently high cost of buying a new pet and the number of animals in shelters awaiting the chance of a new home, it’s clear animal lovers should consider adopting, not shopping. 
With a rescue pet you're giving a pet a second chance at life, and as anyone who has a rescue pet can attest you will be the object of that animals gratitude for years to come.