Ask Hopeful Henry: Today is National Adopt a Shelter Pet Day |

Ask Hopeful Henry: Today is National Adopt a Shelter Pet Day

If you’re looking for a pet there is no better place to get your new furry friend from than a shelter.

About 2.7 million healthy, adoptable cats and dogs — about one every 11 seconds — are put down in U.S. shelters each year. When hearing about the number of animals that are euthanized it is such an over-whelming number you can find yourself throwing your hands up in total frustration wondering if you can make a difference by adopting just one pet.

I wanted to share the starfish story, as it really is inspiring.

One day, a man was walking along the beach when he noticed a little girl picking something up and gently throwing it into the ocean. Approaching her, he asked, “What are you doing?” The small girl replied, “Throwing starfish back into the ocean. The surf is up and the tide is going out. If I don’t throw them back they’ll die.” The older man shook his head. “Don’t you realize there are miles and miles of beach and thousands and thousands of starfish? You can’t even in begin to make a difference.” The little girl smiled politely, then bent down, picked up another starfish, and threw it back into the shining sea. Then smiled at the man and said, “I made a difference for that one.”

There are things you can do to help keep the numbers in shelters down! First, if you are a pet owner make sure you spay or neuter your animal, many animals sent to shelters are off spring of family pets. Don’t use the excuse that you can’t afford to spay-neuter your pet. If you are not in a position to afford the cost of spay-neuter contact us at the Lake Tahoe Humane Society & SPCA we can provide you with a low cost voucher. Only 15 percent of dogs and 2 percent of cats that are lost and turned into shelters are reunited with their owners because they are not identified. To avoid this make sure your pet has its identification tags with correct phone number or consider microchipping your pet.

If you are looking for a pet always adopt from your local shelter, our local shelter is The El Dorado County Animal Services located at 1120 Shakori Dr. and can be reached at 530-573-7925. There are also a couple other shelters around the lake you can adopt from; in Incline Village you will find Pet Network Humane Society at 401 Village Blvd., you can reach them at 775-832-4404. In Truckee you can adopt a pet from the Humane Society of Truckee Tahoe located at 10961 Stevens Lane, you can reach them at 530-587-5948. The Humane Society of Truckee Tahoe is offering $20 off your adoption fee today in honor of National Adopt a Shelter Pet day.

If you can’t adopt a pet there still are ways you can help. Donating your time is always a good thing. Shelters need volunteers to walk dogs, play with the kitties and various other duties. If you can, become a foster parent for an animal. Often shelters need foster parents to take care of pregnant cats or dogs until they have there kittens or puppies and during the first 8 weeks when it is best for the kitten or pup to be with there mother. You can call your local shelter to find out if there is any thing else they need like pet food, toys, litter, blankets or any other pet item that could be put to good use.

Remember always adopt from a shelter, it saves lives!

Submit your questions or letters via email to or by mail to P.O. Box PET, South Lake Tahoe, CA 96158. Visit the Lake Tahoe Humane Society and SPCA on Facebook at You can also become a Facebook friend of Hopeful Henry at

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