This week on All My Children Wear Fur Coats, we had the pleasure of speaking to Cara Achterberg. Cara Achterberg is the founder of Who Will Let the Dogs Out.
Cara is raising awareness for the influx of pets coming into shelters around the U.S as of late. She describes the current situation in our country as the “perfect storm.” Undeniably, shelters are being overwhelmed. There is an abundance of animals being surrendered for various reasons. The housing crisis, pet specific legislations, and the economy are some of the biggest factors playing into this growing issue, but there is one more issue.
On average, about 10% of all adopted animals return to a shelter for various reasons. During the pandemic, there was a quick and aggressive increase in pets being adopted. Fast forward to post pandemic and now 10% of all these animals are quickly returning to shelters that are not prepared for the overflow. Meanwhile adoptions have also slowed down because those who wanted a pet already got a pet during the pandemic. A perfect storm.
Cara does most of her work in the South. While the Northeast has a solid foundation for animal control services since it is more densely populated, it seems like the South has fallen behind in this regard.
The rural South has a lack of public shelters that are government controlled. Most shelters in the area are private nonprofits that are opened by people who want to shelter animals and help in any way they can. Dogs have always run loose in the South and that’s just the way it’s been, but that needs to change. As the South gets more populated, this lack of attention is becoming dangerous for both people and animals.
Who Will Let the Dogs Out helps independent shelters find the resources they need to stay open and care for their animals. They do all this while also shining a spotlight on this problem that isn’t being addressed. Cara gets local groups and press involved to bring these issues to the attention of those who aren’t aware of what’s going on.
“…I really believe that if people knew about the problem and what they could do to help, they would help. The biggest disconnect is that people don’t know…” – Cara.
It’s clear that Cara’s belief in people is one of the things that continues to drive her. People don’t know about these smaller shelters. People don’t know animals are suffering. People don’t know how they can help. Cara is trying to change that by visiting one shelter at a time, but she needs our help as well.
Learn more about Who Will Let The Dogs Out.
Visit their website at https://whowillletthedogsout.org/ to learn more about them.
Our pets are family too! To learn more about protecting your loved pets with a Pet Trust, visit ACT4Pets.org.