If you really love animals, please read this!
Animal overpopulation is getting worse. There are too many animals being euthanized in shelters and humane societies across the United States—they do not have to die! In Central Ohio, the number of dogs turned into shelters in 1996 reached over 211,000 with only 24% of them finding new homes. In 2004 the number went down to about 170,000 dogs and about 38% of them found new homes. That means about 85,000 did not find new homes. The news for cats is worse. In 1996 112,000 cats were turned in and only 26% found new homes. In 2004 that number went up to 134,000 cats and only 30% found new homes. This means that about 90,000 did not. That is just in Central Ohio!
One of the reasons that the number for cats turned in went up is that more people are aware of the feral cat problem. People want to help by bringing in these cats, but do not want to take responsibility for them. At the shelters they are too wild to adopt and are usually euthanized. This should not discourage you from reporting feral cat colonies to local rescue groups. They can be entered into a program called Trap, Neuter, and Release.
We do a lot of feral and rescue cat work through Forgotten 4 Paws, and we try to find homes for as many strays as possible, but like many places, we are full with adults that no one seems to want. If you have space in your heart and your home for an animal that will give you unconditional love, please let us know or go to your local shelter to give someone another chance at life.
There is an excellent website for national statistics of pet overpopulation at www.petpopulation.org. This website will about make you weep with the number of unwanted animals euthanized in the United States. We are not some third world country without the proper funds to take care of these animals; people just turn a blind eye to the problem hoping it will go away. It is not going to go away until everyone does what he or she can to solve the problem! This may be as simple as:
- Spaying and neutering your pets
- Encouraging all friends and family to spay or neuter their pets
- Letting local humane societies know about animal abuse and hoarders
- Adopting a new pet from a shelter or rescue group
- Reporting feral cat colonies to local rescue groups
- Microchipping your pets
- Reporting puppy mills
- Not giving up your own pets
If you are thinking of turning your pet over to an animal shelter,
please understand that if it is an adult, the chances are slim that it will find a new home. Please look at the reason you are getting rid of your pet. Is it a medical problem? Is it a behavior problem? Have you done everything that can be done to fix the problem? If you had a choice when adopting, would you pick an animal that already has a problem?
The top reasons people give up a pet are:
- New baby
- Litter box problems
- Separation anxiety
With proper treatment/training most of these problems can be fixed if the owner is willing to try. Sometimes there are other circumstances, such as elderly owners moving into assisted living facilities and cannot take their pets. (More of these places now allow pets, because research has proved that pet owners enjoy better health and are happier than non-pet-owners.)
A Note About Breeding Your Pet
If you decide to breed your animal, are you doing it for the betterment of the breed? Do you have homes for all the puppies/ kittens? Even if you have people to adopt all of your puppies or kittens, what happens to that puppy or kitten they may have adopted at the shelter? Will someone else adopt it or will it grow into an adult no one wants?
If we can help, please call us! All of our staff are committed to helping keep pets in their homes and out of the shelters!