pet-adoptionPet overpopulation is a very large problem in this country. Our shelters are full and the only way to make room for new arrivals is to adopt the current residents or euthanize them. We have too many unwanted pets and the problem is only getting worse.

Each year approximately 2.7 million pets are euthanized in shelters and animal control facilities across the nation. This includes animals turned over to the shelter and those found wandering without a clear owner.

There are several reasons for this large number of unwanted pets. The first reason is one we have all heard, but it warrants saying again. We have too many pets that are products of unwanted or accidental litters. The female dog or cat is accidentally bred and the owner is faced with decisions about several puppies and kittens in the house. Do they find them a home or turn them over to a shelter or animal control facility?

Unfortunately, several will end up in an animal control facility. The owner feels there is no other option, or they feel the litter stands a better chance of adoption in these facilities. The dedicated workers and volunteers work hard to find homes but there are more pets than available homes. We are back to the solution. Spay or neuter your pets and the amount of unwanted litters will dramatically decrease.

Many times, people will also buy a pet and realize that this cute, cuddly creature requires work and money. It takes time and dedication to care for a pet. It also takes veterinary care to keep them healthy. Once they realize it is too much work the pet is then turned over to a shelter or animal control facility. These pets then run the risk of becoming one of the 2.7 million pets euthanized each year.

Well, we know that no shelter or animal control facility will be void of pets, so what is the solution? The first solution has been mentioned above. Spay and neuter your pets at an early age to prevent unwanted pet litters. The other solution is to adopt animals from animal control facilities and shelters. This is a great alternative to purchasing pets from pet stores or breeders, especially those that are considered puppy mills. Adoption saves the pet from potential death, but it also opens a space for another needy animal that can then be potentially adopted. Also, don’t forget the reward for the human. They gain a companion and have the satisfaction of helping a pet in need.

Next time you are considering a new pet as an addition to the household, please consider one of the many worthy pets in a shelter or animal control facility. This topic has been discussed by several different people, but it warrants discussing again and again until the problem is solved.  Don’t think it is a problem, speak to an animal control officer. Remember, spay, neuter and adopt.