Facts that Tell an Awful Story
- Number of stray cats and dogs living in the US: 70 million
- Number of animals in the US that die each year from cruelty and neglect: 30 million
- Number of cats and dogs entering US shelters each year: 6-8 million
- Number of cats and dogs euthanized by US shelters each year: 3-4 million
- Percentage of animals in US shelters that are healthy and adoptable: 90%
- Percentage of dogs in US shelters which are purebred: 25 – 30%
- Average age of animals entering US shelters: 18 months old
These numbers are staggering in everyone’s judgment. The entire animal welfare community—from large national organizations to small two-person rescue groups—agrees that there are two actions by the public that will make the most dramatic and significant impact on reducing these numbers: adopt from animal shelters and insure that your pets are spayed or neutered.
This is not a recommendation to avoid purchasing pets from good and responsible breeders. The problem for most prospective pet purchasers is that it is very difficult to determine which breeders are caring and responsible animal caretakers who participate in the animal breeding industry for the love of a certain breed or, as is the case with a majority of breeders, simply breed as many puppies and kittens as possible for money. This latter group of breeders is the cause of untold misery, abuse and neglect of dogs and cats which are bred repeatedly throughout their lives to produce more litters. The puppies and kittens are then sold to pet stores and other outlets for sale to the public. And the public buys those puppies and kittens without understanding the time and financial obligations that are attached to properly raising and caring for these young, small animals.
The Animal Welfare Farm welcomes your response to these two partial remedies for over- populations of pets. If you disagree, please offer recommendations as to better methods of controlling the staggering numbers of pets that are neglected, abused, abandoned and/or euthanized each year. If you agree, please share your opinions with us and your friends in order to begin a change of thinking about adoption from animal shelters and insuring that pets are spayed or neutered.