CAN YOU RESIST THIS FACE?
I was a late bloomer when it came to my love affair with dogs. When I was little, I used to run away from the brutish-looking strays in my neighborhood in New Delhi, causing them to gallop after me, causing me to bolt faster. Ai. . . ai. . . aiyeee. What an ugly mess! Then, my mom brought a mutt home from the local shelter, and I fell in love. . . forever.
I'd feel my eyes well over with tears when I'd see the blood and dirt matted fur on the skinny strays slinking through the streets like desperados, in the slum colony adjoining our home. I'd walk over to give a poor urchin of a kid a piece of my mind when I'd see him throw a pebble at an old stray. I'd wake up devastated, shattering sixteen-year-old fairy tale dreams, when I'd hear a dog yelp with agony in the dead of the night.
Then I moved to the U.S., and I found pet lovers who considered their dogs their babies. I thought I'd never witness again a dog being abused or mistreated. However, in my search for a new dog to adopt in my new homeland, I stumbled across a starling statistic: more than 5000 shelter dogs are killed every year in the U.S.—about one every 11 seconds! Here are five ways you can help:
1. FOSTER A NEEDY PET: Shelters and rescue groups d0n't usually have the space or resources to house every pet that comes to them, which means they have to turn some away. Help out by fostering a dog or cat until it finds a permanent home.
2. DONATE SUPPLIES: Shelters always need blankets and towels, pet food and bowls, leashes and cleaning products and more (and they often accept gently used items).
3. SURF THE WEB: Just one click at The Animal Rescue Site and Freekibble helps donate pet food to shelters. And for each marketing survey you take at the SurveyMonkey Contribute website, you can send 50 cents to one of its animal-charity partners.
4. FIGHT CRUELTY: Help put an end to inhumane puppy mills by protesting to your Congressperson. Ask him or her to support bills that would enforce stricter standards for commercial breeding.
With the unconditional love that dogs give you, I bet you won't regret it!