Here's something we can all agree on: Pets are great. This National Animal Shelter Appreciation Week, let's take a moment to support those who care for cats, dogs and other animals as they await for a forever home.

Local shelters do great work providing care to animals, often on a shoestring budget. And they generally don't get much money — if any — from national groups with those well-known tear-jerking ads. A common misconception is that wealthy groups like the Humane Society of the United States run similarly named local shelters. They don't. 

There are around 14,000 shelters and rescue groups in the U.S. that take in more than 6 million pets each year, and they need your support to do this important work. Adopting a new furry friend is always the most helpful choice. But if adoption isn’t an option for you, consider volunteering or donating funds. The shelters — and animals — will appreciate it.

Will Coggin

Washington, D.C.

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