Don’t you want somebody to love?

Okay, I admit I’m going to shamelessly exploit cute photos of pets here – but I’ve got a bigger point to make. In this ongoing nightmare of a recession, more and more people are abandoning their pets because they simply can’t afford to take care of them. It’s literally raining cats and dogs on local shelters and they need our help.

If you can foster a kitten or dog, that’s the best solution – and works great for students, and people with a fear of commitment (c’est moi!). Many shelters provide complete medical care, supplies and food, so all you need to provide is the petting. If you’re like me and not exactly a pet person (although come on – who doesn’t love a kitten?) you can always find other ways to help. In every community, quietly heroic animal lovers, like my friends Renae and Margarita, volunteer just about every waking hour they have to rescue, protect, and find homes for abandoned pets. The least I can do is have a cocktail to support all that effort!

Tonight, from 4-7, you’ll find me at the Bat & Ball Pub at 1250 Johnson’s Ferry Road for Rene’s inspired Meow Mixer –in support of Animal Savers Rescue. ASR is an Atlanta-based pet shelter that is run by a passionate group of volunteers and depends totally on the income from creative events Renae plans –like Yard Sales, Dog Washes, Adoption Parties, and of course, the Meow Mixers. Tonight, my $10 donation will get me a drink and a raffle ticket, but more importantly, will support spay and neuter programs, ASR’s adoption website (linked to Petfinders), and help keep Animal Savers in kitty litter and kibble.

But if you’d like to take a more comprehensive approach to the problem, join the Humane Society of the United States. HS was started in 1954 and is the largest, most effective animal help organization in America. Its mission is to reduce the suffering of animals and provide direct care for thousands of animals at sanctuaries and rescue facilities, and through mobile veterinary clinics.

With 11 million supporters, The Humane Society has the chops to target horrible issues like dogfighting and cockfighting; abusive puppy mills; the slaughter of American horses for export to places where horsemeat is considered a delicacy; pet overpopulation; and the clubbing of baby seals. Okay, everybody who likes those things, raise your hand (so we can kick your ass). Even hardhearted me, when confronted with a creature in pain, feels the responsibility to try to help (but do NOT under any circumstances watch the veal video on the website).

The good news is that we are euthanizing far fewer animals than we used to; the bad news is of the 6- 8 million animals in shelters, 3-4 million are still put down every year. People like Renae & Margarita at Animal Savers Rescue are trying to bring those numbers down to a more humane level – and for that, they’ve earned my $100 donation today. Join me at the pub, or donate to the Humane Society here!

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