1. Spay and Neuter your cats and dogs. More dogs and cats die each year from “Euthanasia,” because they have no homes, than from all other reasons combined. No disease is more deadly for them than being homeless. Preventing unwanted litters is the best way to help dogs and cats. STAF can help by providing you with low-cost spay/neuter certificates.
2. Keep your cats indoors. The average life expectancy of an indoor cat is about 15 years, but for outdoor cats, it is only 2 years. Dangers include cars, fleas, antifreeze (cats love the taste of this poison), dogs, BB guns, cat fights, foxes, raccoons, and more. STAF can give you ideas about helping a former “free spirit” become a homebody.
3. Keep your dog indoors. Dogs are social animals and you are their “pack.” If they are chained outside or left in a kennel all the time, they suffer horribly from isolation and boredom. Exposure to extreme heat, cold, wind and rain is as uncomfortable for them as for you, and can be deadly. If your dog has behavior problems, try obedience training. STAF can offer some suggestions.
4. Spay and neuter any stray cats in your neighborhood. If you are feeding strays, you’ll see that they multiply very quickly. One or two cats can soon become 10 or 20, and that becomes a big problem. These cats probably won’t let you touch them, so you will need a humane trap to catch them. STAF can help with information about TNR (Trap – Neuter – Return).
5. Provide water for wild birds. Feeding birds is wonderful, but water is even more important. Use a birdbath heater to keep the water from freezing in winter, and make sure the water is clean to prevent disease.