The problem is a lack of homes and an overpopulation of companion animals. Millions of animals are handled by animal shelters through adoption, but most have nowhere to go ending up with a need for Euthanasia. If animal shelters did try to keep all the companion animals, they would be cramped, lonely and stressed, and if they were over capacity then other animals would have to be turned away. Putting them into the streets could lead to starvation, cold temperatures, dangerous situations, diseases or worse. The injection of sodium pentobarbital (Euthanasia) causes rapid loss of consciousness and an immediate inability to feel pain.
Since the 1970s euthanasia numbers in animal shelters have declined sharply with an increase of spay and neuter efforts. This assisted with the pet overpopulation problem of unwanted puppies and kittens. Although pet ownership numbers is steadily increasing, Euthanasia numbers are declining.
Currently, animal care and animal control agencies aren’t required to keep statistics for the animal protection movement. Unfortunately, there isn’t any national structure to keep track of animals being taken in by adoption centers, how many animals are adopted, euthanized, or reclaimed. Most animal shelters nationwide are independent, no government institution or animal organization is solely responsible. That being said there are some statistics we can check out to visualize the situation as a whole. The following factual information is derived from aspca.org, a well known leader in the animal rights movement.
Approximately 7.6 million companion animals enter shelters nationwide every year.
Of those, approximately 3.9 million are dogs and 3.4 million are cats.
Each year, approximately 2.7 million animals are euthanized (1.2 million dogs and 1.4 million cats).
Approximately 2.7 million shelter animals are adopted each year (1.4 million dogs and 1.3 million cats).
About 649,000 animals who enter shelters as strays are returned to their owners.
Of those, 549,000 are dogs and only 100,000 are cats.
Of the dogs entering shelters, approximately 35% are adopted, 31% are euthanized and 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.
About twice as many animals enter shelters as strays compared to the number that are relinquished by their owners.
What Can We Do?
The question is, how can we help to decrease these cases of animal homelessness and euthanasia because of overcrowding. That’s where our Sparky Steps community comes in. We recognize the efforts of the shelters around us, the countless non-profits out there that are doing their best to tackle the issue. Our aim is to assist in the mission to find forever homes. We want to assist in the cause so everyone has a home. We invite everyone to participate in our #SPARKANDBARK movement.
This is where you create a Spark and Bark about it. Create the Spark by heading out and finding an animal in need of a forever home, maybe volunteer or ask friends if they know any animals that need a forever home, and take pictures of them. Then Bark about it to your friends through one of your various social media accounts. We do this with the intention and aim that one of these pictures will be seen by one of your friends or family and maybe just maybe we can get them their forever home faster!
We believe in the power of community, of networks, of the people. By uniting together we believe we can produce real change. We aim to educate, encourage, and inspire others to assist the problems of homelessness. If approximately 2.7 million animals are being euthanized each year, then our goal is to help turn that around. Our dogs and cats are not just animals, they are family. Join us in our social mission to find forever homes. Join the #SparkandBark movement!
Please visit these links for more information on the facts and how you can help with this issue.
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