1. Keep cats indoors

Our pet cats should live indoors with us so they stay safe and comfortable. Build a catio (cat patio) for fresh-air access and engage your cat in indoor games. Play with your cat so she gets to hunt and chase without hurting local wildlife. Even indoor cats should wear a collar and visible ID, just in case of accidental escape.

2. Advocate for accountability

Ensure that your community offers information and low-cost services so that all pets in the community are healthy and can stay in their homes, too. Millions of pets live in poverty in the United States, but many pet advocate groups are working to make sure these pets are spayed or neutered and vaccinated.

3. Push for equal treatment

Many so-called pet-friendly apartment complexes and rentals actually ban a long list of breeds or charge expensive deposits and fees. There’s no evidence that pet people aren’t great tenants too, so ask your landlord or property manager to change their policies and welcome all pets equally.

4. Never leave your pet in a car

Every summer we hear it repeatedly — beloved pets suffer a tragic death from being left in a car ‘for just a minute.’ Hyperthermia, brain damage and death can happen so quickly in summer heat and humidity. Make the right choice and leave dogs and cats at home. Your pet is likely going to be happier lazing on your couch in the air conditioning than locked in a car without you for comfort or company.

5. Adopt or rescue a pet

When looking for a pet, choose to visit a shelter or rescue group. Your new family member will already be vaccinated and spayed or neutered, saving you money and saving lives in the process. You can save more by doing wellness checks and basic training at home.