Every day in America, every single day, more than 70,000 kittens and puppies are born in this country. Every day only 10,000 babies are born. This is where the problem begins – pet overpopulation. The most horrifying number is that very year almost 10 million animals are euthanized in shelters because of a lack of space and available adoptive homes. There’s a statistic that states that only one out of every dog and cat born in America find an adoptive home. That means that nine of ten are euthanized, hopefully humanely, but not always in some states in America.
But, your local animal control officer that’s out every day pick up stray dogs, trapping feral cats or feeding or cleaning up after the abandoned animals are NOT THE ENEMY. Euthanasia of so many animals is the symptom, not the cause. Our local animal controls were created a long while ago to attempt to reduce animal cruelty. Each open admissions facility is required to take in whatever animal comes through the front door. An example is our local animal control in a small county in Georgia. The intake numbers for dogs, puppies, cats and kittens are in the 6,000 range every year. A local humane society assists with adoptions and rescues and is able to save 2,000 lives, but that still leaves 4,000 homeless animals. The animal control doesn’t have the space, the money or the staff to care for those 4,000 animals and the 6,000 that are coming through the front door the next year. It’s a tsunami of epic proportions and this scenario is being played out in every small or large county or city in America.
If the dog walking through the front door happens to be one of the banned bully breeds or ones that are considered “dangerous” – they have a 93 percent chance of being euthanized. With the current hating on the bully or pit bull breeds, almost 1 million of the dogs put to sleep every year are of the Pit Bull variety. That’s almost 3,000 per day. Some large cities, such as Atlanta, where I live or Los Angeles, pit bulls have less than a 1 in 600 chance of finding an adoptive home, if they ever make it out of the kennel alive. And 70 percent of all adult cats who end up in a shelter will be put to sleep.
The population explosion has another problem. Every time a celebrity hauls a Chihuahua around in designer purse and suddenly there are 16,593 of them dumped in shelters surrounding Los Angeles. Or, every time 101 Dalmatians airs on television, suddenly everyone decides to get one, despite the fact that these aren’t easy breeds for every family. So another couple of thousand backyard breeders get into the fray and a couple of puppy mills decide to specialize in the “hot” dog of the year and the shelters are overwhelmed once again.
But the alternative for these animals is much, much worse. At least these animals are humanely euthanized in a shelter, rather than being left to starve, being hit by cars or being ill and left untreated by callous owners. If we ended all euthanasia in animal shelters, it would cause many, many animals to suffer and die inhumane deaths.
The enemies we battle are the twin evils of lack of knowledge and lack of care. That’s why the Spay/Neuter army is such a critical piece to solving this problem of an oversupply of kittens and puppies born every day.
What happens to a pair of breeding cats if they’re allowed to reproduce at will? It’s actually pretty horrific. According to the University Of California School Of Veterinary Medicine an unspayed female cat and an unneutered male cat can produce 781,250 kittens in just seven years. And that’s just ONE pair of cats.
Before your house is overrun with furry little kitties, get your unneutered male or unspayed female into one of the low-cost spay/neuter clinics quickly.