Each year, approximately 6.5 million pets enter American animal shelters across the country. Of these, approximately 3.3 million are dogs and 3.2 million are cats. We estimate that the number of dogs and cats entering U.S. shelters each year fell from about 7.2 million in 2011. The largest decline was seen in dogs (from 3.9 million to 3.3 million ).
3.2 million shelter animals are adopted each year (1.6 million dogs and 1.6 million cats).
Each year, around 1.5 million shelter animals are euthanized (670,000 dogs and 860,000 cats). The number of dogs and cats euthanized each year in U.S. shelters increased to approximately 2.6 million in 2011.
This situation would be better remedied by subsidized sterilization and public awareness campaigns. The central role of animal shelters is to act as an example of compassion in action. Education must be recognized and supported rather than marginalized.
Do not breed or buy while shelter animals are dying
8 reasons to adopt a shelter animal
- Save a life, literally
3 to 4 million shelter animals die each year because there are not enough houses.
Any animal born, intentionally or accidentally,
takes home potential of a wonderful animal that already exists.
If you want a pet, go to your local shelter and pick a new friend who needs to be rescued
before it becomes a statistic.
- Stop puppy mills and backyard breeders
If you are buying from a pet store provided by puppy mills or backyard breeders,
you are directly responsible for keeping them in business.
Without demand, there is no need for supply.
Puppy mills and backyard breeders exist today and in your community.
Pet stores don’t have to honestly tell you where they get their animals from.
- What you see is what you get
The shelters are full of adults, so you know what you’re getting.
You know exactly how big the animal will be, how much it will lose,
and what their personality will look like.
Many people adopt a cute puppy who turns out to be huge, furry, and slobbery,
and then have to give it away.
- The adult advantage
Babies are attractive, but adults are generally more practical.
Shelters are full of adults much calmer than babies and
many have already moved and trained.
Babies need constant care around the clock and need lots of attention
and it can be exhausting.
Adults can usually stay at home while you work, babies cannot.
- The mixed advantage
The shelters are full of mixed-breed animals,
who are often in better health and temperament than many thoroughbreds.
Genetic abnormalities are much less likely to occur in a mixed breed animal
(ex: hip dysplasia, aggressiveness, respiratory problems, etc.).
- Unconditional love
Many animals in the shelters have been abandoned, mistreated or neglected,
yet they are always ready to love and do anything to please us.
Imagine finding a pet that had been left for dead,
and bring it home to find that this is what your life was missing.
There is no stronger connection than that.
Animals in shelters come in all ages, sizes, colors and personalities.
Short or long hair, foo-foo or sturdy dogs, playful puppies or bedside dogs,
cuddly cats or mice can all be found in shelters.
Purebred animals can cost hundreds or even thousands of dollars.
You can adopt a pet from a shelter for much less, typically $ 10 to $ 75.