SJRAS, in conjunction with local animal lovers and local animal control agencies, is proud to announce the newest SJRAS program. Shelter Me is our way to support outdoor pets and their owners by providing knowledge and materials needed to improve the quality of life for outdoor pets.
Before you call or email to yell at us and tell us how pets should be family and live in the home, please take a minute to read and really consider what this program is all about.
SJRAS' goal is to adopt pets into new homes is to provide companionship and a member of the family that lives inside the house WITH the family. No one is saying that isn't going to continue to be an important part of our animal welfare mission.
But, that being said, this program is not about pets being adopted. This program is for the animals that are already in homes and maybe have been in those homes for years. What at the options for those pets if their owner cannot provide the supplies necessary for them?
Should they give the animal up to the already overcrowded animal shelter where they are scared, ripped away from all that they know, to face the uncertainty of finding a new home and trying to transition to being an indoor pet? Learning manners, potty training and various other skills that can be challenging for older pets to learn quickly?
Or maybe, just maybe, if they're with an owner who loves them and wants to keep them and they just need a little help, maybe that's a better solution? We're not talking about cruelty cases where the pet is neglected and forgotten about, left to fend for themselves. We're talking about pets who spend a majority of their time outdoors and have owners that just need a little help to provide some of the items that will help that pet's life be more comfortable:
- a doghouse that's in better condition than the one they currently have
- a heated water bowl that will insure the pet has access to water at all times during the winter months
- a tarp or shade cloth to give the pet somewhere out of the weather to comfortably enjoy warmer weather without suffering from a lack of shade
- swivel clips - the simplest item that just provides a tether with the ability to spin freely which avoids a tangled chain or cable that will reduce the mobility of the pet
- door flaps for doghouses to add that extra layer of protection for a pet that spends a large amount of time outside and relies on a doghouse to stay warm or dry
While we don't necessarily condone these primarily outdoor living situations, our purpose is to support the pet and owner, and to improve the current conditions. This also results in an open channel of communication with the owners so that they know we are here to help when we can. Knowing that they can reach out to us without fear of criticism if they should need help in ANY situation provides an extra layer of safety for the pet. It also allows us to learn WHY the pet is primarily outdoors, and maybe to address some of the issues that keep the pet living outside.
Many times outdoor pets aren't there because that's where people prefer them - they're there because housebreaking wasn't successful, or maybe the pet was destructive when left in the home unsupervised. Maybe they were reactive to visitors coming to the home and reacted in an aggressive or scared manner. These are things that can often times be corrected with the right mindset and resources. Having a relationship with the owner allows us to have conversations and offer resources, like basic training advice, training equipment, or referrals to trainers that are willing to assist owners having issues with their pets.
Our goal is to make the pet's life better, period.
Do you or someone you know need help?
Email our outreach coordinator today to see how we can help!
Want to help?
Visit our Amazon wishlist for items you can donate to the program!