A follower over on my Facebook page recently took it upon himself to tell me that there is no such thing as a pet overpopulation problem in the United States. In fact, he said, “…lazy kill shelters would love you to believe that – it gives them the cover they need to kill...”
I can only assume this man has never seen the inside of an animal shelter, if he truly believes pet overpopulation doesn’t exist. I volunteer at what’s called a low-kill shelter. That means my shelter doesn’t euthanize for time or space. They euthanize only in the case of very ill or injured animals, or animals with behavior issues that cannot be corrected, thus making the pet “unadoptable”.
In other words, it’s not uncommon at my shelter to find healthy, well adjusted dogs and cats that have been there for months, maybe even years. Why? Because there simply are not enough homes for all of them.
There are more homeless pets in shelters than there are people who want to adopt them.
If that’s not overpopulation, I don’t know what is.
But when you choose not to spay or neuter your pet, and you allow that pet to produce another litter, you’re adding to a problem that’s already out of control. Did you know that one unaltered dog can result in 67,000 more dogs over a 6 year period.
You impact more than you realize when you decide to purchase a puppy or kitten from a pet store or backyard breeder. You can pay hundreds of dollars for a young animal with the hope of molding it into the dog you want it to be when in fact, there may be an adult dog that is already the kind of dog you want, waiting in your local shelter.
Anyone who’s ever worked in an animal shelter can tell you, pet overpopulation is real. It’s not a yarn spun by kill shelters that want to justify their killing practices. If that were the case, no-kill and low-kill shelters would have empty kennels, and every home would be guarded by a dog and ruled by a cat.