Resting Easy – A Few Clicks Can Donate A Comfortable Bed For Shelter Pets
By Dr. Marty Becker
Part of my work as a veterinarian involves staying current on the latest in disease prevention and treatment, which means I go to a lot of conferences.
I also speak at a lot of conferences, which is what took me recently to Orlando, where the North American Veterinary Conference is held every year. While I was in Florida, I taped some public service announcements, and that’s how I learned of a need for pet beds in shelters.
When I was at the Orange County Animal Services shelter I saw a sparkling-clean facility with a loving staff, all set up for 250 pets but filled with 800. This situation is not special to Orlando, of course, for all over the country job losses and foreclosures are forcing many to give up their pets. At OCAS, as in many other shelters, there aren’t enough beds to go around. Some pets share what beds there are, but others sleep on the floor, without even the little bit of warmth and comfort that comes from being off the concrete.
I thought of the senior dogs and cats sleeping on hard surfaces, becoming stiffer and more painful every day, lessening their chances of being adopted.
I thought about skinny pets, cold pets, pets in drafts and on wet floors, all of whom would be healthier, happier and more adoptable if this one basic comfort were available to them.
Like all my readers might have felt, I can’t take all those pets home. But that didn’t mean I couldn’t help and couldn’t get others to help. That’s when it came to me: Let’s get these pets some beds.
In other words, let’s help shelter pets rise up, lie down and move out.
Turns out the people at the Kuranda company of Annapolis, Md., are already on this. These cot-style beds are popular with shelters (and pet owners, too, of course) because they’re easy to assemble, durable, chew-resistant and easy to keep clean. The company has a program where people buy beds and have them sent directly to any of hundreds of shelters. The cost for a donated bed is discounted 30 percent off the regular price.
In just a few days of sending the word out through our PetConnection.com Web blog, and my Facebook and Twitter accounts, the 100 beds OCAS had requested had been donated.
It’s a great start, and now I’m reaching out even more, to help pets in other shelters.
Can you donate a bed for
a shelter pet? It’s easy! Go
to Kuranda’s Web site
(kuranda.com) and click on “Donate a Bed.” You can then choose from dozens of shelters, sorted alphabetically and also searchable by state. When you’ve chosen your shelter, the site will display what kind of beds the shelter has requested. Buy a bed, and the company will send it to the shelter you’ve chosen. It’ll take you just a couple of minutes and a credit card.
I have no association with the company and didn’t know about the program before the folks at OCAS pointed it out. And of course, there are lots of other ways to help your local shelter, with donations of time, money or goods — and by adopting!
Whatever it takes, let’s do it. The need is great, and it only takes a little from each of us to help.