A Second Chance at Life

Adopting pets from local shelters is a great way to address animal homelessness

Save a Bun Rabbit Rescue helps place rabbits in loving homes in the Treasure Valley.

Anastasia Stuart

Save a Bun Rabbit Rescue helps place rabbits in loving homes in the Treasure Valley.

Anastasia Stuart, reporter

Each year, over 14 million animals are abandoned in the U.S., but only a third of them make it into animal shelters—and even then the chances of them getting a home is slim.

Adopting an animal gives it a second chance at life that they wouldn’t get otherwise. Instead of buying an animal based off of aesthetics, it’s a good idea to make sure you and your animal are compatible. Most shelters will allow you to foster before you adopt to make sure that you’re a good fit.  Adoption helps end animal homelessness, a process that is finally making progress. Here are some other ways you can help end animal homelessness.

Volunteering. Shelters rely on volunteers as it’s hard to make any profit from adopting animals out.  By volunteering for only an hour a week you help socialize the animals and give them a higher chance to be adopted.

Fostering. Taking the animal in until it gets adopted really helps, because it doesn’t take up space in the shelter, allowing more animals to have aid and higher potential of getting adopted.

Donating. Whether financial or pet supplies, donations are what most shelters really need. Shelters with more than five animals go through loads of pet supplies daily.

Adopting. Ultimately one of the biggest ways to help, is to adopt a pet. And if this sounds appealing, here are a few great places to adopt from in the Treasure Valley:

Pet Haven. Since she ten years old, Helen G. Wilson took in as many stray dogs as possible.  However, when she became a teacher at Nazarene College of Nampa, dogs weren’t allowed on campus. This began Wilson’s love for cats, as she began taking in the campus’s stray cats. She founded the first ever West Valley Humane Society in 1972. The humane society was mainly for dogs, but in 1996 she was able to build the Pet Haven building for cats, which still exists today.

Shanna Jiggar, a manager at Pet Haven, said last year Pet Haven adopted out a record 573 cats.  Shanna actually wasn’t planning to become a manager at Pet Haven, where she just wanted to volunteer “the second I turned 18.”  After volunteering for many years, she was promoted to more important tasks such as giving medications and monitoring cat intake before eventually being hired as the store’s manager.

“Volunteering makes it really easy to go from a volunteer to a paid role with no previous experience whatsoever,” she said.

Shanna shared that the common brown tabby and senior cats tend to be passed over the most despite them being some of the most loving cats.  Here’s a link to their website to find more interesting stuff about them: (https://pethavencats.org/)

Save a Bun Rabbit Rescue. Although amazing, Pet Haven isn’t the only good shelter in the Treasure Valley. Save a Bun Rabbit Rescue (https://saveabunrabbitrescue.com/), is an amazing, nonprofit, no-kill shelter in the Treasure Valley that helps adopt out rabbits, while West Valley Human Society is one of the few shelters in Idaho that adopts out cats AND dogs.  (https://westvalleyhumanesociety.org/)