February is the shortest month, but it’s certainly not short on animal related observances. That makes sense, given that it’s the month we celebrate LOVE. And what is more loving than our companion animals?
How each of us repays the love we get from our pets is as unique as we are. But it’s important to recognize how truly remarkable that bond is between humans and our animal companions. It’s a bond always to be cherished and never taken for granted.
With that thought in mind…
February is Responsible Pet Owners Month.
So how can you celebrate? You might start by taking a close look at how you care for your companion animals. Is their food appropriate to their age and overall health? Are your pets overweight? (According to a study cited in USA Today, more than half of cats and dogs in the United States are overweight or obese.)
Do your pets get enough exercise, socialization, and mental stimulation for their individual needs? Have they been spayed or neutered and vaccinated? Are they getting routine vet care, especially as they get older? Are they microchipped to expedite their return to you if they become lost?
These are some key components of responsible pet ownership. It’s a good idea to evaluate your success in giving your pets their best life possible. If you need help caring for your pet, please visit our website’s Need Help? section for ideas and resources to help you better meet their needs.
February is I Love NYC Pets Month.
From 2007 to 2012, the Mayor’s Alliance presented I Love NYC Pets Month. This citywide celebration supported our goals of increasing pet adoptions and spay/neuter surgeries in order to increase the live release rates at our city’s shelters. Throughout February, we and our many rescue partners featured dozens of pet adoption events and other festivities to shine a spotlight on NYC’s homeless pets.
Today, the landscape of NYC’s rescue community is different than it was more than a decade ago, and Animal Care Centers of NYC (ACC) has maintained live release rates above 90% for the past six years. But promoting pet adoption remains at the heart of the Alliance’s mission. And so, if your lifestyle and finances align with adding a new furry family member, we encourage you to celebrate I Love NYC Pets Month and adopt from ACC or any of the other wonderful shelters and rescue groups in the area.
February is Adopt a Rescued Rabbit Month.
If you’re thinking about adopting, consider adopting a pair of rabbits. (Rabbits prefer the company of other rabbits.) And since February is Adopt a Rescued Rabbit Month, what better way to show you care than to open your home to rabbits in need of love?
Just remember, rabbits aren’t an appropriate choice for every household. They are not good “starter” pets, because they have certain care requirements that make them high maintenance pets for some families. And it’s important to have your rabbits spayed and neutered because…well, they reproduce like rabbits, and before you know it, two become 10! For rabbit spay/neuter information, please visit our Rabbits as Pets page.
New York State law prohibits the sale of rabbits in pet stores, so if you’re interested in bringing a rabbit into your family, you’ll need to adopt from a shelter or rescue group. The adoption experts at ACC, Bunnies and Beyond, or any of the other rescue organizations that offer rabbits for adoption can help you determine if a rabbit adoption is in your future. When you adopt a rabbit from ACC or a reputable rescue group, the rabbit will be spayed or neutered before you bring them home. Please visit our Rabbits as Pets page for information about rabbit adoption and veterinary care.
February is Black Dog Syndrome Awareness Month.
Black Dog Syndrome is a phenomenon that has shown that black dogs (and cats) often are overlooked by adopters. This results in black dogs and cats often experiencing longer shelter stays and lower adoption rates.
But perceptions can be changed. As anyone who shares their home with a black dog or cat will tell you, they are just as loving and wonderful as any other dog or cat. So if you happen to be looking for a new best friend or family member, don’t overlook those beautiful black dogs and cats just waiting to brighten up your life!
February is Spay/Neuter Awareness Month, and World Spay Day is February 28.
Of course you understand why you should have your dogs and cats spayed or neutered, right? Today the tougher question is, how can I get an appointment for the surgery, particularly if I need to locate free or low-cost spay/neuter services?
Unfortunately, a nationwide shortage of veterinary personnel and lingering COVID-related delays continue to make the quest for affordable veterinary services just that – a quest. Every day we respond to numerous requests from pet owners looking for spay/neuter services for their pets. If you are among those pet owners, we encourage you to visit our spay/neuter page or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org, and we’ll provide you with a list of low-cost spay/neuter resources in and around New York City.
AmazonSmile winds down by February 20.
For the past decade, Amazon has made it easier for customers to support their favorite charities through AmazonSmile. The Mayor’s Alliance has been a proud partner with AmazonSmile, and we are grateful to our many supporters who have used the program to channel funds to the Alliance through their Amazon purchases.
As you might have heard, Amazon has decided to focus its philanthropic giving to programs with greater impact. Effective February 20, the Amazon Smile program will no longer be available.
However, for those shoppers who are looking for ways to shop more ethically, please take a look at this article.
In case you missed it: Punxsutawney Phil, the nation’s official groundhog who resides in Pennsylvania, spotted his shadow on February 2, thereby predicting six more weeks of winter.
Stay safe, stay warm, and stay healthy. We wish you and all your family members a February filled with love!