April 30th is National Adopt a Shelter Pet Day–a day created to raise awareness for the millions of animals waiting in shelters to find their fur-ever homes. According to the Humane Society, 6-8 million animals enter shelters in the US each year, with only 28% of dogs and 31% of cats completing adoptions. If you are considering welcoming an animal companion into your home, we urge you to look into adopting a pet first and foremost. Many animal shelters are overrun with fantastic animals who just need a second chance, and your support would mean the world to them. There are thousands of incredible animal shelters around the UK doing fantastic work to rescue and rehome pets that have been surrendered or abandoned. A fantastic animal shelter that is local to us, TAG Pet Rescue have been rescuing pets since 1988, and Founders and Trustees, Debbie Channing and Chris Kiddell built Thanet's first pet rescue centre in 2002. We recently chatted to long time volunteer, Lin, to find out just how vital rescue work is, and things to consider before you adopt a new furry friend.
Can you tell us a little bit about yourself and your role at TAG?
I have volunteered for TAG since 2009 when I moved to Birchington after I retired and love it!
Budgies at TAG Pet Rescue - see more about small pets for adoption here.
Roughly how many animals does TAG usually have in their care?
At the moment we have approx 55 cats in our care, either in foster homes or at the sanctuary waiting for a furrever home. Around 16 rabbits, 2 Bearded Dragons, 4 Rats, 2 Degus and loads of birds - it's impossible to count.
What 3 things do you think someone should know before adopting a new pet?
People should consider the cost of keeping a pet for vet bills and food. The time that is involved caring for them. It is a long term commitment
The cat pens at TAG Pet Rescue
How has covid affected the centre and the animals?
Rehoming has had to be done very differently. We have gone on lengthy telephone interviews and videos and photos. Our supervisor has had to take our cats and rabbits to their new homes. It is has all been very time consuming but the main thing is we have been able to find some wonderful homes
Why should someone adopt a pet over buying one?
People should adopt rather than buy because there are so many rescue centres bursting at the seams with pets needing a good home
Jimmy Jim the cat - see cats available for adoption here.
Is there a particular animal whose story has stuck with you?
We rehomed a gorgeous cat called Jimmy Jim to a lovely lady who adored him. Sadly she passed away and he has come back for us to find him another home. However he has had kidney problems and had to have one of his kidneys removed. If you go to our Facebook page you can see a video of him at the vets
How can people help support TAG and rescue animals in general?
We are always grateful for people's donations - either money or food
A huge thanks to Lin for taking the time to chat with us! Animal shelters require year-round assistance and adoption is a huge part of the process. Since animals come in daily, the shelters must work quickly to ensure the animal’s health and well being. Only then can they be adopted into their forever home. Adopt a Shelter Pet Day not only encourages you to visit a shelter near you and find your new furry friend, but also to consider how you can help in other ways. If you are not looking for a pet, consider giving your time by volunteering. Not only will this help the shelter by providing the animals with exercise, companionship, and socialisation, but it also gives you that wonderful animal companionship even if you cannot have a pet of your own. You can also check the shelter’s donation needs list. Bring the items you are able to give, or donate money directly to help support shelter animals. You can help support the fantastic TAG Pet Rescue by donating, volunteering with the animals or in their charity shop, leave a legacy and much more.