The number of homeless and abandoned dogs in the United States has reached a staggering number, and yet we fail to recognize it as the crisis it has become. As a stereotypically canine-loving nation, the issue of animal rights and animal welfare hits close to home for many Americans.
U.S. Shelter Dogs
Around 3.7 million dogs enter shelters each year in the United States, often due to the failure or inability for an owner to care for her dog.
Lost or Abandoned
Of the 3.7 million dogs that enter shelters in the United States each year, only 26 percent are returned to their owners.
Adopted or Not
Dogs that are given or brought to shelters in hopes of finding new homes often find themselves waiting far too long. When it comes to finding new homes, dogs that are older, have temperament issues or are untrained, often find themselves passed over.
An Uncertain Fate
About 1.3 million dogs are euthanized each year in the United States. These are very often healthy and active dogs that were not lucky enough to find a family to take them home.
The Issue of Strays
There is a sub-crisis in the number of stray/feral dogs that roam the streets. Almost twice as many animals are brought into shelters as strays than are abandoned by owners.
The Responsibilities of Owning a Pet
Unfortunately, too many people decide to become pet owners without this sense of responsibility in mind. Even small things such as not ensuring your pet is safe in your yard or has the proper identification can add to the dog abandonment crisis.
Preventing the Crisis from Growing
Spay or neuter your family dog. Often the dogs brought to shelters are accidental and are from unwanted litters of puppies.
Adopt a Pet
The best method of obtaining a new family pet is always to adopt or rescue from a shelter. If you or someone you know is looking to add a new pet to their family, be sure to check out your local animal shelter, and make a dog’s day by giving them a loving home.
Help Rescue Animals
Provide food and vital supplies to shelter pets at The Animal Rescue Site for free! →