Orphans of the Storm: Save a Mistreated Animal

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Layla Ward, Staff Writer

Throughout the pandemic, many people across the United States have adopted pets because they were spending so much time at home. Now that many people are back to working in-person, animal shelters all over the US are filling up with abandoned animals. 

There are many rumors that this is because people are returning their “Covid animals;” however, according to some shelters, it is because there is not enough help and shelters are lower on money. Further, many families are now not looking for pets because they got them during Covid, meaning that there is a lack of homes for these animals to go to.

Orphans of the Storm is a local animal shelter with many locations, with the main one located in Deerfield. It was started in 1928 and has continued its ongoing mission to rescue dogs and cats. The majority of animals are rescued from Tennessee due to their strict spay and neuter laws. This results in the overpopulation of dogs and cats, and the need for more homes for these animals . 

Orphans of the Storm currently has 64 dogs and 19 cats available. Most of these animals have been relocated from the South and other parts of Illinois. As Christmas approaches, many people might be considering adopting a pet for their family or themself. Although it may be more exciting to get a puppy, it is important to remember that there are a lot of dogs that have been abandoned that also need homes. 

There are also many pros to adopting a dog instead of buying one from a breeder. Often dogs from shelters are a lot less costly, and can be healthier than purebred pets because they are mixed dogs. Another reason why adopting a pet can be preferable to buying one is that you can adopt a dog of any age, meaning that they can be well trained ahead of having to take them home. 

Although these are all good reasons to adopt, it is also ethically the right thing to do. Although many shelters around the Chicago area are not necessarily kill shelters, including Paws and Orphans of the Storm, over one million pets are euthanized per year in the United States. Even if someone adopts from a non-kill shelter, it would still open up space for other dogs to be put in the shelter.

Even if this Christmas there is nothing that you can do to adopt an animal, there are still plenty of ways to help local shelters. You can donate supplies, including beds, toys, towels, food, cleaning supplies, and other dog and cat supplies. One can volunteer for adopting events, to walk or play with animals and help around the shelter. Finally, it can also be helpful to donate money to shelters so they can buy more supplies for the animals and pay for other things essential to run a shelter.

Although it can be more beneficial to adopt a dog rather than buying one from a breeder, either way you are helping a dog. The only place to avoid buying a puppy from is a puppy mill, due to the conditions that the puppies are kept in and the lack of care the dogs are given. This being said, it is just important to educate yourself on where you are getting your dog from to ensure that it is a reliable place to make sure you are supporting an ethical breeder or shelter.