BENEFITING: SOUTH SUBURBAN HUMANE SOCIETY
ORGANIZER: SOUTH SUBURBAN HUMANE SOCIETY
Have you or anyone you know ever adopted a dog or cat from a nonprofit animal shelter? In researching which charity I would support in running the 2016 Chicago Marathon, the following statistics opened my eyes to the present state of companion animal adoption and rescue in this country:
* Approximately 7.6 million companion animals enter animal shelters nationwide every year. Of those, approximately 3.9 million are dogs and 3.4 million are cats.
* Each year, approximately 2.7 million animals are euthanized (1.2 million dogs and 1.4 million cats).
* Approximately 2.7 million shelter animals are adopted each year (1.4 million dogs and 1.3 million cats).
* About 649,000 animals who enter shelters as strays are returned to their owners. Of those, 542,000 are dogs and only 100,000 are cats.
* Of the dogs entering shelters, approximately 35% are adopted, 31% are euthanized and 26% of dogs who came in as strays are returned to their owner.
*Of the cats entering shelters, approximately 37% are adopted, 41% are euthanized, and less than 5% of cats who came in as strays are returned to their owners.
* About twice as many animals enter shelters as strays compared to the number that are relinquished by their owners.
All of you are surely aware of my love for animals, particularly cats. I was fortunate to grow up in a home that adopted, rescued and loved many cats and dogs over the years. Even today I still treasure fond memories of our sweet Claudette, Natasha, Princess, Holly, Sally, Tootsie, Bogie, Cagney, Leia, Kashmir and Misty. If not for us, some of these animals may have ended up euthanized, abused or even worse... Every last one of them brough joy to our family and left an indelible mark on each of our lives. Having them was a gift.
The reason that I am raising funds to help support the South Suburban Humane Society is twofold. First, I grew up in the south burbs of Chicago. This is personal. It is and will always be my home. Many friends and even family members have provided forever homes for pets adopted from SSHS. Second, the SSHS offers comprehensive investigation, screening, adoption, counseling and low cost spay/neuter services to the community. Thanks to their efforts, thousands of companion animals have been placed in loving homes over the years.
Having worked for a nonprofit in the past, an organization's fiscal responsibility, leadership, community impact and overall mission are critical factors in the process I employ when deciding where to make charitable donations. SSHS is the only Chicagoland shelter to be named a Guidestar "Gold Standard" charity and hold the Wise Giving accredation - it is a worthy recipient of our support.
Presently, I am entering the late stages of preparation to run 26.2 miles on Sunday, October 9. I've had some training misfortune along the way (a strained calf) but I'm feeling determined and strong. It's a personal goal for me, having not run a full marathon in ten years, to just finish the run free of injury and with a smile on my face in my amazing hometown. I know that I will suffer a fair amount along the way and ask myself numerous times why I ever thought this was a good idea. The answer, of course: kitties and puppies!
My cause, my motivation, my drive in this journey is in effort to support the care and welfare of companion animals. I hope you are willing to back me in this cause. My sweet iZumi, Gandalf and I thank you in advance for your kind donation and support.