Letter: Please spay, neuter pets
A huge thank you to the staff and volunteers of the Gloucester-Mathews Humane Society and surrounding county animal control departments! You have helped save thousands of animals that have found themselves without homes and families of their own. You all provide loving care beyond the call of duty. Unfortunately, shelter environments remain stressful for the animals. There is no way to relieve the stress other than to find loving home environments … or euthanasia.
In a perfect world, animal shelter resources would be without limits. Unfortunately, we do not live in a perfect world. While there is an unlimited number of homeless animals locally, it is becoming more difficult to find families who can bring another pet into their home. Even the seemingly "perfect" pets with no physical or behavior issues are waiting for their forever family to find them longer than expected.
To paint an even bleaker picture, animals with behavior issues decline in stressful environments. Being kenneled 24/7 with very limited one-to-one interaction with humans and other animals has a negative effect on all pets, but especially the "not-so-perfect" pet. This puts these special-case animals at risk for euthanasia.
I personally would rather see a dog whose future existence is almost certain to be kenneled 24/7 in a shelter environment be euthanized. There is a difference between simply existing in a stressful environment and truly living. Being kept kenneled for long periods of time, no matter how much love is provided when being fed or having the kennel cleaned by staff, can be torturous for dogs with certain behavior issues.
A perfect world would be a "no-kill" world, with loving homes and families for every domesticated animal. Unfortunately, this is not a perfect world. If you want to help our community get closer to perfection, please volunteer, foster, adopt and be a responsible pet guardian by spaying, neutering and properly training your pets.