Search This Blog

Thursday, August 19, 2010

The despicable disposability of pets – Part 2

In the first part, we laid the groundwork for the current outlook on animal disposability, using two specific examples of how these individuals have proven the enormous credibility of this issue. In this post I want to emphasize more facts and statistics on the controversy, while pointing readers to exactly what causes the problem and what can be done to solve it.

First of all, pet owners are not spaying and neutering their animals; 35 percent do not for various reasons. Some want to do their own breeding, others out of sheer ignorance. And for every puppy or kitten sold by these home breeders, one more shelter animal will not find a home, says the American Humane Assn. (AHA). For those who just won’t, you will no doubt end up with a very frustrated pet.

Out of 163 million pet cats and dogs in the U.S., around one-third end up in shelters every year. And AHA says there are plenty of homes, but they choose not to adopt from a shelter. Only 20 percent of the 17 million homes that acquire a pet each year do so from a rescue or shelter. The fact that very nearly all puppies sold at pet stores come from puppy mills where they live miserable and unhealthy lives should discourage folks from patronizing those stores. But it doesn’t.

How many of you know that many shelters specialize in particular breeds like beagles, boxers, bulldogs, shepherds and shelties, to name only a few. Call your local Humane Society for information on how to find the particular breed you are interested in.

Did you know that most shelters receive a greater number of stray and owner-relinquished adult pets than come from new litters. There’s no identification and most are never reclaimed by owners. More than 50 percent of dogs never go back home, but cats are an alarming 90 percent.

Other reasons for giving up pets are behavior problems, don’t have the time, can’t afford it, allergies, and a new baby in the household. In most cases, all of these “alibis” could have been avoided with some simple research by the individual in the beginning. Don’t want to say you’re lazy folks, but many of you are.

As an example of those who are fighting for the animals, go to the Kindness Ranch site in Wyoming and you will see how one group is working to improve animal rights through care and rehabilitation of laboratory animals. I can think of no cause more important than rescuing and providing lab animals a sanctuary to live out their lives. There are more and you can help by volunteering. Just Google “animal shelters in (your home town or state)” to find one close to you.

Beth Harrison, Phoenix, Arizona animal activist, contributed to this article

Please visit my writing at

No comments: