Now more than ever, pet homelessness is a huge concern in many regions worldwide. When an animal has been abandoned, two things will likely happen to it. The first option is to become a stray and feed off dumpsters. Or, it can find its way into a shelter to get proper veterinary care before finding a new home. None of the two options is ideal as they come with significant drawbacks. Below are some surprising facts about abandoned animals to further qualify what we are saying.

1. Dogs are the Most Commonly Abandoned Animals

While a wide range of animals are abandoned by their owners yearly, dogs make up the most significant percentage. Unlike cats, which are relatively small, dogs require larger premises and more food. The other animals with a high abandonment rate, like dogs, are horses. This has led to more dogs being put to death in many shelters. The bigger the pet, the more expensive it is to maintain.

2. Purebred Animals are Also Abandoned

There’s a misconception that purebred pets behave much better than their mixed counterparts. However, many owners are surprised when they run into issues with purebreds and abandon them. Statistics show that at least one of every four dogs taken in by an animal shelter is purebred. Animal rights activists have since urged breeders to reevaluate breeding because it’s causing overpopulation.

3. Only 1 Out of 10 Dogs Finds a Permanent Home

According to a study done by the Mosby Foundation, only one out of every ten dogs will find a permanent home. That means the remaining nine will end up in the street or animal shelters.

4. More Than 6 Million Animals are Abandoned Every Year

According to People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA), more than 6 million animals are abandoned yearly. About 70 million abandoned animals are struggling to make ends meet in the United States alone.

5. An Average of 1.5 Million Animals are Euthanized Annually in the US

Animals who are severely ill or have been in horrible accidents are euthanized to create more room for strays in animal shelters. The number of euthanized animals is estimated to be 1.5 million every year. Euthanasia in animal shelters has been a controversial topic, but a lot of people do agree that there is no better solution to deal with this problem.

6. Neutering is the Best Methods of Preventing High Rates of Abandoned Animals

Neutering is the removal of all or some of an animal’s reproductive organs. It’s done to prevent high rates of abandoned animals in pets. Lately, breeders have been asked to neuter or spay pets to prevent accidental and intentional reproduction, which leads to overpopulation.

To prove how crucial neutering is, an unneutered dog can produce up to 67,000 dogs in only six years. As for an unneutered cat, it can produce up to 420,000 kittens in only seven years. Through neutering, these figures can be reduced drastically, and there will be no need for euthanasia.

7. Most Shelters across the World are Overcrowded

With over 6 million pets abandoned annually, animal shelters are bound to be overcrowded. Given these facilities operate on limited budgets, it is difficult for the animals to receive proper veterinary care and nutrition.

8. More Than 70% of Abandoned Animals Don’t Have Identification

Statistics show that about 70% of abandoned animals don’t have identification, making it hard for rescuers to return the pets to their previous owners. Recently, there have been talks of fitting pets with collars and microchips with identifications that can help track the owners.

9. More People Are Embracing Adopting Abandoned Animals

On a positive note, there is a steady rise in the number of people willing to adopt abandoned animals. Instead of visiting breeders to get kittens, many animal enthusiasts prefer to visit shelters and provide a new home for the strays. If these efforts are sustained, the rates of pet homelessness might decrease significantly.

10. Animal Shelters Take a Huge Toll on Taxpayer Money

Most shelters are funded by the municipality, which gets money from taxpayers. Because the number of strays is skyrocketing and shelters are becoming overcrowded, this places a huge burden on taxpayers. As much as there are donations from NGOs, they are not enough to cater to all the needs of abandoned animals.

11. North America Passed the No-Kill Law to Protect Animals from Being Euthanized

The No-Kill Movement was started in the 1980s by animal protection agencies to prevent healthy pets from being euthanized. In 1998, the State of California passed three laws in support of the No-Kill movement. A couple of other states followed suit, and today, the no-kill policy has exceeded a 90% placement rate in many shelters. Euthanasia is often used to deal with overpopulation in animal shelters.

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Last Update: July 4, 2024