Animal homelessness is a growing problem that affects millions of cats and dogs each year. Despite the efforts of animal welfare organizations, the number of homeless animals continues to rise due to a lack of neutering or spaying, illegal puppy mills, and overcrowded shelters. However, adopting a pet from an animal shelter or rescue group is an excellent way to help reduce the number of homeless animals, provide a loving home to a pet in need, and ultimately make a positive impact in the world. In this article, we’ll explore the shocking statistics surrounding animal homelessness and the benefits of pet adoption.
The statistics surrounding animal homelessness are alarming. According to the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA), the number of cats and dogs entering shelters annually is around 6.3 million. Each year, nearly 65,000 animals enter Mississippi shelters, with 18% of them being euthanized. Only 2% of stray cats are spayed or neutered, leading to overpopulation and exacerbating the issue. Surprisingly, only 52% of shelters in the US are no-kill shelters, meaning that many animals are being euthanized unnecessarily due to a lack of resources. However, in 2021, 83% of the 4 million cats and dogs that entered US shelters were saved, indicating that there is still hope for reducing the number of homeless animals in the future.
General Facts About Animal Homelessness
40% of dogs adopted are from an animal shelter, rescue group, and in some cases, pet stores. This suggests that more and more people are realizing the benefits of adopting a pet from a shelter rather than buying from a breeder.
Only 2% of stray cats are spayed or neutered, contributing to the overpopulation of cats and the severity of the issue.
In 2021, a study by the humane society concluded that there was a decline in the number of dogs entering shelters, indicating that more pet owners are taking responsibility for their animals.
In 2021, roughly 83% of the 4 million cats and dogs that entered US shelters were saved, but roughly 350,000 of these animals still died – indicating there is work to be done.
Common Stats On US-Based Shelters
Most animal shelters will wait at least 72 hours from when the animal is brought in before euthanizing it. This allows time for the animal to be assessed for adoption potential and treated for any illnesses or injuries.
In no-kill shelters, about 90% of the dogs and cats brought in are rehomed and adopted. Unfortunately, roughly 10% are euthanized, usually due to advanced age or terminal illness.
It’s estimated that the number of animals picked up by animal control costs about $1–$2 billion each year, most of which comes from U.S. government funding.
Percentages of Animals Being Euthanized
Surprisingly, only about 52% of shelters in the US are no-kill shelters, meaning that many animals are being euthanized unnecessarily due to a lack of resources.
Close to 10% of shelter animals are eventually reunited with their owners, indicating that not all animals entering shelters are strays.
Mississippi holds the top spot when it comes to animal shelter killings, with a whopping 18% of animals being euthanized every year.
Benefits of Adopting a Homeless Animal
Adopting a homeless animal can have numerous benefits for both the animal and its new owner. By adopting a pet from a shelter or rescue group, you can:
Provide a loving home to an animal in need.
Reduce the number of homeless animals and help to control the overpopulation of cats and dogs.
Save a life, potentially preventing an animal from being euthanized due to overcrowding.
Gain a new companion, adding joy and happiness to your life while reducing stress and anxiety.
Experience health benefits such as lower blood pressure and improved emotional well-being.
Animal homelessness is a heartbreaking reality that affects millions of cats and dogs each year. However, the efforts of animal welfare organizations and the growing number of adoptions from animal shelters and rescue groups are making a positive impact on this issue. By adopting a homeless animal, you can make a difference in the world and provide a loving home to a pet in need. Remember, adopting a pet is not only a responsible choice, but it also brings immeasurable joy and love to both the animal and their new human family.