Ending pet homelessness is an achievable goal.

Published 6:44 am Thursday, June 14, 2012

(NAPSI)—Approximately half of the pets that end up in shelters in North America are euthanized before they find a home. That adds up to about 11,000 pets each day—or about 4 million pets this year—that will lose their lives even though the majority are healthy and adoptable.

While these figures might seem staggering, ending pet homelessness is an achievable goal. Everyone can be part of the solution and it starts with adopting your next pet.

Many Americans believe adopted pets are some of the best companion animals, yet there are many misconceptions about adoption that need to be overcome. PetSmart Charities has teamed up with leading actor Josh Duhamel to launch the High-Five for Pet Adoption campaign in an effort to educate the public about these misconceptions.

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Duhamel has been a pet adoption advocate since he adopted Meatloaf, a companion for Zoe, his 7-year-old dachshund. Though he’s passed away, Meatloaf left an indelible mark on Duhamel—that adopted pets are so grateful for the love you have to give them—and he’s committed to raising awareness about the joy that adopted pets bring to our lives.

With Duhamel, the High-Five for Pet Adoption campaign celebrates the 5 million pets that have been saved through PetSmart Charities adoption centers in PetSmart stores, while raising awareness about adoption in an effort to save millions more pets. Duhamel urges others to take action by:

• Donating to organizations that rely on public support to run shelters and programs that save pets. Text PETS to 80888 through August 6 or visit www.petsmartcharities.org to donate $5 and help PetSmart Charities reach its goal of raising $250,000 to help save 10,000 homeless pets.

• Adopting a pet when you’re ready to add a four-legged companion to your family.

• Sharing your story with others about how your adopted pet has brought joy to your life.

One of the biggest barriers to adoption is the belief that “you never know what breed you’re going to get,” yet in the U.S., an average of 20 percent of all adoptable pets are purebred. No matter what type of pet you choose to adopt, consider these four things:

1. Space. Some breeds spend lots of time sleeping, while others need more room to run and explore.

2. Time. The need for training, attention, play and outings can vary depending on breed type.

3. Kids. If you have children, know the pet’s temperament before you adopt. Most shelters will offer a pet’s history, including temperament, when it’s available.

4. Coat. Some breeds must be professionally groomed to stay healthy and almost all dogs and cats, whether long- or short-haired, shed. How much hair are you ready to handle?

More tips, adoption stories and access to a list of local adoption agencies is available on www.petsmartcharities.org.

On the Net:North American Precis Syndicate, Inc.(NAPSI)