Do you care for animals?
Are you willing to make that a promise?
Pet parents all over the world are standing up for their furry friends, their companion animals, and their foster pets. The Paw Pact is a promise to pets to care for them for life, through better and worse, especially through worse.
Commercial breeding operations over the last century, matched with humans who fail to have their pets spayed or neutered, sometimes abandoning those animals, have contributed to an explosion in the pet population in the United States. That means shelters are often overcrowded, and forced to euthanize animals before they have a chance to find forever homes.
People taking the Paw Pact aim to end this suffering. They commit themselves to bring their animals along when they move; to offer the same steadfast love and affection before, during, and after bringing a new baby into the world, or another pet into the home.
In short, the Paw Pact is a vow new pet parents make in order to prevent any more animals from winding up on the streets, in shelters, or worse.
The following poem is from Animals Are Feeling Beings Too. It captures the spirit of the Paw Pact in five touching stanzas:
I brought you home
You became part of the family
A new life I’ve given to you
Which you accepted happily
We have our own “discussions”
Together we eat, play & rest
Now life with me is what you know
Things are surely at their best
But time surely does go by quick
One day we’ll both slow down
It’s inevitable that aging will come
And our bodies will start to breakdown
The difference between me & you my pet
Is that your turn to age will be first
But I will always be there as I have been
Through the best times and the worst
You see, you are my family
And we are together until the end
I’ll always love you, so never fear
I would never abandon my best friend
Are you considering adopting a new pet? Consider making the Paw Pact with them, first. If it seems like too much of a commitment, perhaps pet parenting may be, as well.
Matthew Russell is a West Michigan native and with a background in journalism, data analysis, cartography and design thinking. He likes to learn new things and solve old problems whenever possible, and enjoys bicycling, going to the dog park, spending time with his daughter, and coffee.
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