It’s time for me to adopt another dog. I’ve been searching various shelters on the internet and it breaks my heart to see the volume of homeless dogs available for adoption; cats also.
There are literally millions of dogs and cats that are stuck in shelters all over this country and the numbers keep growing. Many of them will be put to death because there are just too many. The estimates run anywhere from 3 million to 4 million that are euthanized annually just in the U.S. Think about that number for a minute. That’s about 10,000 a day! It’s a national disgrace!
It’s so out of control that it becomes overwhelming to even begin to think about how we can stop this trend or even make a dent in it. First we need to understand why dogs end up in shelters.
It’s a misconception to think a dog is in a shelter because there’s something wrong with him or her. That’s simply not even close to the truth.
According to the American Humane Association, the most common reasons why people relinquish or give away their dogs is because their place of residence does not allow pets (29%), not enough time, divorce/death and behavior issues (only 10%). The most common reasons for cats are that they were not allowed in the residence (21%) and allergies (11%).
- · of the dogs entering shelters, approximately 35% are adopted, 31% are euthanized and only 26% of dogs who came in as strays are returned to their owner.
- · of the cats entering shelters, approximately 37% are adopted, 41% are euthanized, and less than 5% of cats who came in as strays are returned to their owners.
I know statistics can be really boring but they show what the mindset is in America today about our companion animals. We have become such an arrogant and selfish society where everything is disposable.
According to the Oxford – Lafayette Humane Society under “united States Facts & Figures” http://www.oxfordpets.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=61
• Number of cats and dogs entering U.S. shelters each year: 6 – 8 million
• Number of cats and dogs reclaimed by owners from U. S. shelters each year: 600,000-750,000 (10% of total entering shelters – 15–30% of dogs and 2–5% of cats)
• Percentage of animals entering U.S. shelters that are healthy and adoptable: 90%
• Percentage of animals entering animal shelters that were surrendered by their owners: 30%
• Percentage of people who acquire animals that end up giving them away, abandoning them, or taking them to shelters: 70% (disturbing)**
• Percentage of animals surrendered to an animal shelter that were originally adopted from an animal shelter: 20%
• Percentage of animals received by animal shelters that have been spayed or neutered: ONLY 10%
And a really disgusting statistic:
• Number of animals in the U.S. that die each year from cruelty, neglect, and exploitation: 30 million!
Come on people! Do your part in stopping this overpopulation by having your pets spayed or neutered.
Encourage everyone you know to do the same. If your pet has an unwanted litter do the right thing and find homes for those babies. Then get your pet spayed or neutered! Please.
Don’t get a dog or cat unless you are ready to MAKE and KEEP a commitment for the life of that animal!
Adopt your next pet from an animal shelter.
And to those that are responsible for the death of 30 million animals through cruelty, neglect and exploitation, please seek psychological help!''
** If you are considering getting a dog or know someone who is, especially your first dog, please grab a copy of "Your First Dog" before you or they do so. It provides a detailed view of the realities of owning a dog so you can decide beforehand if it's for you. (Percentage of people who acquire animals that end up giving them away, abandoning them, or taking them to shelters: 70%) 70%!
Owning a dog should not be an experiment. It's a commitment for the life of that dog and with that commitment comes a whole bunch of responsibilities you will be required to fulfill.
I love dogs. I've always had 2 or more and will until I breath my last breath but dog ownership is clearly not for everybody. First you need to pick the right dog for you and your family. Then it takes a lot of time and effort to care for and train a dog and if you don't do it properly you won't end up with that wonderful companion you envisioned in the beginning.
Why are so many dogs given up or abandoned? Because people have an unrealistic view of owning a dog and quickly learn they are unable or unwilling to invest the time, energy and resources to provide what is required.
It can be heartbreaking to your family, especially your children, to become attached to a dog and then decide to get rid of it. It's also devastating to the dog to go from a house full of people to a dark, cold, depressing, noisy and confusing shelter. So please, please make the effort to learn if you are ready or willing to move forward or not and make the right decision.
And to anybody who would dump a dog or a litter of puppies on the side of a road, or in a dumpster to die, what is wrong with you? SHAME ON YOU!