Dog & Cat Overpopulation is a very Human Problem!
Wednesday, May 10, 2006
Let us, as a society of pet owners, consult our collective shrink and deal with one of our persistent, growing and extremely troubling "issues."
We loudly proclaim how much we love our pets, but the fact is, we have between 5 to 11 million dogs and cats killed each year.
These are healthy cats and dogs at shelters.
The No. 1 problem regarding cats and dogs in the United States is that there are simply too many.
For every human born daily, seven kittens and puppies are born, according to the Doris Day Animal League/Spay Day USA.
The simple, effective solution to the overpopulation is to spay and neuter our pets. But this is where American pet owners have a huge disconnect. Apparently, many think spaying and neutering is for everyone else, not their dog or kitty. Some people think it's too expensive, which it's not. It's absolutely the best money you can spend for your pet. Some people think spaying and neutering is "unnatural" or "mean." Please. Stop anthromorphizing this subject.
Spayed and neutered pets are healthier and live longer than unaltered pets. They are calmer and less aggressive. Most importantly, they can't add to the pet population. People who want to breed their dogs or cats, for whatever reason, need to forget it. There are certainly enough reputable breeders, of every breed, and certainly way more than enough disreputable and backyard breeders.
Hence, the overpopulation.
A study shows that about 25 to 30 percent of dogs turned into shelters are purebreds.
The same study shows that 55 percent of the surrendered dogs, and 47 percent of the cats were unaltered.
Not altering animals leads to behaviors that lead people to get rid of their animals: Barking, biting, fighting, marking, running away, breeding with the unaltered "mutt" next door and other "unpredictable" behavior. Hence, the dumping of animals at shelters.
This is the time of year that puppy and kitten ads fill newspapers.
Before you scour those ads for a new friend, take a look at www.petfinder.com and your local animal shelter for your pet of choice.
You can find any type of animal you want there. And more than people can care for:
Petfinder lists 13,532 Labradors for adoption across the U.S. There are 5,220 beagles, 5,988 pit bulls, 6,808 German shepherds and 2,748 chihuahuas.
If this just sounds like numbers, look at their faces, read their stories.
Educate yourself about your animal. Spay and neuter. Adopt, don't buy.
Give a wonderful, healthy, sweet and spayed shelter animal the chance to be the great companion she was meant to be.
Thank you for reading this!