We've just wrapped up a nice Thanksgiving celebration with the family and I've settled in to watch the pet adoption special Cause for Paws on Fox. There are puppies and dogs of all sixes and breeds (mutts, pits and everything in between). They even promoted the adoption of special needs dogs. But something is missing...what about the cats? Don't cats need homes too.
Don't get me wrong. I really love the many aspects of rescue that have been highlighted from rescue transporters to special needs to the celebrities connection to their own pets. They even did a nice bit talking about not getting a pet on impulse and talked about the importance of adoption over purchasing a pet. And, they highlighted the work of the Beagle Freedom Project.
Specials like this put rescue and the wonderful pets needing a second chance in the nationals spotlight. It will do a lot to save lives and encourage people to adopt. It's been fun and clever and heartwarming. There were therapy dogs, service dogs and a focus on so many other special aspects of dogs and their connection with people...and the role rescue has played.
The show is the brainchild of successful producer Michael Levitt who spends his time rescuing dogs when he's working as a producer. He has two pit bulls that he rescued from death row and included a nice segment on that misunderstood breed in the special. Throughout Cause for Paws, celebrities have trotted out 70 dogs needing homes and talked about various breeds and their own rescues
Each year, an estimated five in ten dogs that enter open admission shelters don't make it out alive. They are euthanized for one simple reason - there are not enough homes. When rescues run out of space and no one is adopting or transferring to rescue, it's the end of the line for these dogs. When you rescue a dog, you save two lives - the dog you adopt and the dog that takes his or her place in rescue.
But what out our furry feline friends? Don't they need some attention too?
As grim as the statistics are for dogs, the numbers are worse for cats - 7 in 10 that enter open access shelter are euthanized. Cats may be the most popular pet in homes (outnumber dogs by about 15 million), but they are more likely to be left in a shelter or just dumped in the streets.
Yes, I loved so much of what they did with this special.
But with the brutal statistics facing cats in this country, how difficult would it be to have spent a little time on a few cats or groundbreaking cat organizations (I nominate Tree House or Harmony House - two of the oldest no kill cat organizations in America - both based in Chicago).
Many cats would not have done well in a variety show format like this...but there are cats in rescue that would have love the spotlight - one lives with me. A kitten segment would have worked. Or, better yet, how about some videos highlighting a few rescue cats? Cats are the kings and queens of YouTube after all.
Ratings and social media buzz will play a roll on whether or not this special becomes an annual thing for Thanksgiving. I hope it does...I've enjoyed the work that it's done. I would love to see a special aimed at cats (is that asking for too much?)...but if not...I'd love to see a a few cats needing homes highlighted next year.
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Filed under: Pets