You might remember Julia Elmer from some of our past Grommets -- she introduced us to Chivas Skin Care and Night Owl Paper Goods -- and it seems like she sends us something new every day. Take today's Grommet, the duvets for cats and dogs which she told us about. See, Julia is not only passionate about spotting and sharing inventive and thoughtful new businesses, she's deeply committed to animal welfare. Today, we've invited Julia to share that commitment with us, and we hope it inspires you to tell us what kinds of products and businesses you care most about. After all, that's what Citizen Commerce is all about.
by Julia Elmer
I hope that Grommet fans will be as taken with today's Grommet, the Molly Mutt Washable Cat and Dog Duvet Bed Covers as I was. Pets add so much to our lives. Why have ‘em if you can’t spoil ‘em, right?
Many of us care deeply about animals and want to see every companion animal in a loving home with a warm bed and a full tummy. I believe in the saying “adopt one until there are none,” but adopting a shelter pet is only one part of the solution. In my experience as an animal welfare advocate, I have come to believe that we can all create a better world for animals through legislation, education, and spay/neuter.
Back when I was a little girl, sometimes I tried to fake being sick so that I could stay home from school and watch “The Price is Right.” Suffice it to say I had an unhealthy obsession with game shows… I never have made it on “The Price is Right” show as an adult, but Bob Barker’s signature closing remark at the end of every show has stuck with me over the years:
“Bob Barker reminding you: help control the pet population. Have your pet spayed or neutered. Goodbye, everybody!”
The benefits of spaying and neutering your pet run the gamut from a greater chance at a longer, healthier life to improved behavior and reduced urge to roam. Your community also benefits when you spay and neuter your pets and ensure that they will not contribute to the growing number of unwanted pets in our country. In California alone, an estimated $50 million a year (largely from tax money) goes toward cat-related expenses at animal control agencies and shelters.
So why doesn’t everyone spay and neuter their pets?
Quite simply, I think many of us are not aware of the magnitude of the problem. Most of us probably don’t know that the Humane Society estimates that 6-8 million animals enter shelters every year in the United States. Did you know that 3-4 million of those animals are euthanized because they are not reclaimed, adopted, or rescued?
Did you know that one pair of breeding cats, which can have two or more litters per year, can exponentially produce 420,000 offspring over a seven-year period?
Here are three easy ways you can do something about pet overpopulation:
1. Make a list of your local free and low-cost spay/neuter options, and share that information with others at every opportunity. The ASPCA maintains a great database to help you find local options: http://www.aspca.org/pet-care/spayneuter/
2. If you have a car, offer to drive your neighbors to the vet clinic so that they can have their pets spayed and neutered. Elderly neighbors might be especially grateful for your offer of assistance!
3. Teach children (and other adults) about the importance of responsible pet ownership, including spaying and neutering your pets. Here are two great resources to get your started:
And I’ll leave you with some food for thought…
On Friday, the Adopt a Shelter Pet license plate bill (HB10-1214) heads to the House Appropriations Committee in Colorado. This is a historic bill which will allow those in Colorado the opportunity to buy Adopt a Shelter Pet license plates and help pay for the mandatory spay/neuter surgeries at Colorado shelters. What an ingenious win-win for the lawmakers and citizens of Colorado! This reduces the need to be reliant on tax dollars, and it greatly improves the lives of pets in Colorado.
If you'd like to know more about this topic, here are some resources: