PetSmart Charities’ 2014 US Shelter Pet Report contains some interesting findings that show progress on the animal-welfare front. But it should be noted that one of the troubling aspects of the report explains that about 8 million homeless pets are entering US shelters every year and only half find homes.
Some of the other findings include the chart that shows the number of households with pets increased from 63 percent in 2011 to 81 percent three years later.
The percentage of those are choosing adoption over buying a new pet rose from 58 to 66 over the same 2011 to 2014 time frame. Only 28 percent purchased the most recent dog addition to the family.
The education level is rising within the American public, thankfully. But we can’t scale back on the effort. The more people who receive the message, the better.
One of the many great sections of the report notes “adoption is one of the safest ways to acquire a pet.” It is the safest means. Purchasing a pet is only safe if the person engages in significant research into the breeder and visits the breeding facility for a FULL tour.
But still, if you ask the right questions at the shelter or when dealing with a rescue group, you can be more assured that you’re getting the right pet for you.
And of course, spay/neuter is a key element in the battle to greatly reduce the number of pets dying in shelters. Clearly education is so important, as noted in the PetSmart report, where 85 percent underestimated the number of pets euthanized every year.
I found this statement from the report interesting: “In the Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association, the Association of Shelter Veterinarians says that spay/neuter surgery is safe for pets as young as 8 to 10 weeks old.”
I would tend to suggest going a bit older, if possible, just to be safe. But how about this stat – 86 percent of pet dogs and cats are spayed or neutered. Of course, we still have a bigger problem with roaming cats and dogs.
So the end result is, progress is being made and we’re moving in the right direction. But we still have a long road to travel and far more in the way of education is needed.
PACK MENTALITY BLOG: Compassion - teamed with Science and Logic