Life is hard for a stray, abandoned animal. They don't know when or where their next meal will be, and they're in constant danger of being seriously injured or killed by other animals (or traffic). They also have no access to medical care and no protection from diseases or pests. Hope For Paws, an animal rescue organization from Los Angeles, California, has dedicated itself to the rescue and rehabilitation of such animals.
Recently, they found Benji the dog, who had been homeless his whole life. At first, Benji is incredibly nervous, yelping and running away from his rescuers. Once they were able to get him secured, they saw the work they had cut out for them - his fur was badly matted, overgrown, and heavily infested with ticks and lice. Once they groomed him, they found that underneath all that fur was a scared (but handsome) dog. It took Benji nearly five months to get fully used to the presence of humans and other dogs, but today he's happy, healthy, and waiting to be adopted.
According to recent numbers from the ASPCA, there are five homeless animals for every one homeless person in the United States. There's no way to estimate how many stray dogs and cats there really are nationwide, but estimates for cats alone go as high as 70 million. Only a fraction of those end up in shelters (approximately 7 million former pets and 14 million strays per year). Getting into a shelter isn't much better - nearly 2.7 million animals are euthanized each year due to a lack of adoptive homes. That's why we encourage everyone to find a rescue organization in their area and adopt their next pet instead of going to the pet store.
H/T: Hope For Paws