Animal Angels: How You Can Help Neighborhood Critters in Need

It was impossible to ignore the cat’s cries because they were so persistent. His screams shattered the night and reverberated all throughout the peaceful neighborhood in the suburbs of Maryland. Someone’s cat had managed to get himself stuck in the branches of a tree after falling out of a tree and breaking one of his legs. The accident occurred behind a row of houses.

Krista Hughes, the corporate marketing manager for the Humane Society of the United States’ Factory Farming Campaign, was at home when she heard the cries for help and immediately ran to provide assistance. Hughes, who was equipped with a ladder and a pillowcase, used the makeshift cloth carrier to lower the cat to safety and then transported him to the local animal shelter, where the staff immediately took the animal to the closest emergency veterinary clinic.

A few days later, the cat’s caretaker was able to find him at the local animal shelter and reunite with him. Hughes’s generosity extends to that aspect as well; she disseminated flyers throughout the community that offered a condensed explanation of what had occurred with the cat. The owner is in a position to thank Hughes for her efforts. It is not an exaggeration to say that if Hughes had not come to the cat’s aid, the animal may have succumbed to his injuries and died.

Neighborhood Watch

Hughes responded in the composed and compassionate manner that the vast majority of people who have an affinity for animals imagine they themselves would respond in a scenario of this nature. On the other hand, a large number of people lack the resources necessary to handle an animal emergency in a timely manner. Anyone who has a big heart and a love for animals has the potential to become a guardian angel for critters; all it takes is a little bit of preparation.

According to Rebecca French, who works as an outreach assistant for animal sheltering issues at The Humane Society of the United States (HSUS), “being on the lookout for animals who need help is one of the best ways to have an immediate and direct effect on animals.” “The choice that you make could mean the difference between life and death for an animal. You could be that animal’s only chance of reuniting with its family or of being welcomed into a new family through adoption. People frequently believe that someone else will solve the problem; however, there are so many animals that require assistance that it is each of our responsibilities to do everything in our power to assist an animal in need whenever we come across one.

When animals are free to roam, whether because they have been lost or abandoned, they put themselves in grave danger. Taking animals out of potentially harmful circumstances can quite literally save their lives. According to Dr. Jo Liska, Director of Outreach and Education at Bloomington Animal Care & Control in Bloomington, Indiana, and guardian of an abandoned cat who showed up on her porch and stayed there for 15 years, “helping a wandering critter prevents injury or death from traffic, starvation, cruelty, disease, attacks from other animals, and other dangerous and inhumane conditions.” Liska is also the caretaker of an abandoned cat who showed up on her porch and stayed there for 15

Alex Murphy, a volunteer at the Erie County SPCA in Buffalo, New York, believes that the most compassionate thing a person can do for an animal is to find a place of safety for it. Murphy went out of his way to assist in the retrieval of a stray dog that was located close to his house. He said, “I wanted to help because I knew I’d be frantic if my own dog was lost.”

Ready For Anything

Companion animals, in contrast to humans, are unable to call 911 or update their families on their whereabouts. They are at the mercy of the people that they meet, and as domesticated creatures, they are almost entirely dependent on the compassion of humans. They are at the mercy of the people that they meet. There are a lot of people who want to help but are nervous or confused about what they should do. On the other hand, one who merely likes animals can become an active animal advocate with some study and planning on their part.

However, it is essential to keep in mind that approaching an unfamiliar animal can be risky, even if a person is certain that they will be able to assist an animal that is in need of assistance. “Everyone ought to exercise extreme caution. Use your common sense, and if you don’t feel comfortable handling an animal that might be hostile or fearful, call animal control or your local shelter and wait with the animal until help arrives, as recommended by French.

Check out What to Do When You Find a Stray Dog or Cat, a comprehensive guide written by The Humane Society of the United States (HSUS), for additional information on the steps to take once it has been determined that an animal is in danger.

The Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) also suggests that you put together a survival kit for animals to keep in your car. You will be ready for any situation, whether an animal is on the side of the road or on your front porch, if you do it this way.

The following items are essential for an emergency animal kit:

  • – Cell phone
  • – Phone numbers and addresses of 24-hour veterinary clinics, 24-hour animal shelters and animal control agencies (find local information in your phone book or go to and enter your zip code.)
  • – Cat carrier, pillowcase or cardboard box
  • – Adjustable 6-foot slip lead
  • – Bottled water
  • – Strong-smelling foods (canned tuna, dried liver, etc.)
  • – Treats
  • – Food and water dishes
  • – Animal first aid kit (available online through Medi-Pet and CPR Savers & First Aid Supply.)
  • – Flares
  • – Blankets or towels
  • – Animal first aid book (Pet First Aid, authored by The HSUS and the American Red Cross, is available online.)

There are thousands of animals that are in need of assistance, such as the lost dog that Murphy found, the injured cat that Hughes rescued, and the abandoned cat that Liska took in. Regardless of the circumstances surrounding their existence, these animals are isolated in a hostile environment, and it is up to those who have compassion for animals to take action on their behalf.

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