About 70 million dogs and cats are estimated to be homeless (abandoned) in the United States. As awful as that sounds, the figure rockets to 600 million homeless animals worldwide.
International Homeless Animals Day (IHAD) was conceived in 1992 by the International Society for Animal Rights (ISAR) to raise global awareness of the plight of "shelterless pets." In August of each year, events such as dog walks, animal blessings, pet adopt-a-thons, and more are conducted worldwide and serve as fundraisers to help homeless dogs and cats from many different countries.
It isn't hopeless if you visit other nations and see homeless animals suffering in the streets. The Humane Society International (HSI) has been working for years with governments and organizations in other countries to help make things better for all animals. Unfortunately, attitudes about dogs and cats in other countries sometimes place roadblocks in their paths. Still, the HSI continues to provide training for quality, high-volume veterinary services, including spaying/neutering, vaccinations, and humane education.
According to the HSI website, "Tourists can write to their home country's embassy and to the office of tourism for the country of their concern. Letter-writing, especially mentioning tourism, will sometimes prompt the government or local officials to act. Letter writers should emphasize that they wish the government to work with experienced local and international animal welfare organizations to ensure a humane and effective response."
Homeless dogs and cats in other countries are a concern, not only because they are suffering from a lack of food, water, veterinary care, and human love and companionship, but also because:
1. Unvaccinated animals put humans at risk for over 100 diseases, including rabies.
2. In many countries, stray cats are perceived as invasive animals that prey on vulnerable species, including many birds.
4. A non-spayed female cat can have more than 100 kittens in her lifetime, and most born to homeless mother cats will be confined to a life on the streets. This result adds to the homeless cat issue experienced by many countries, including the U.S.
5. Figures vary, but wildlife (including birds) mortality caused by un-owned cats is in the billions. And that's just in the U.S. Estimates are much higher internationally, with relevant studies noting, "Available evidence suggests that mortality from cat predation is likely to be substantial in all parts of the world where free-ranging cats occur."
To decrease the number of homeless animals across the globe! What a noble goal to which all of us can aspire. Contact your local humane society today and ask what you can do to help in your little corner of the world. If everyone took one action a day, the goal could one day be met. For inspiration, remember what Mahatma Gandhi said, "The greatness of a nation can be judged by the way its animals are treated."
Stray Animal Statisticsãƒ¼What Are the Actual Numbers in 2022
Humane Society International
FAQs about homeless pets worldwide