Most people cannot resist the precious faces of kittens and puppies. Many get them on impulse, many don’t realize they are lifelong commitments and don’t realize what happens when they “dump” their animals at shelters because they no longer fit into their lifestyles. Think before you act on an impulse that could result in a sad ending for an animal.
That puppy you just bought will most likely end up in a shelter when it’s not a cute little puppy anymore. There’s a 90% chance that dog will never walk out of the shelter it’s dumped at…Purebred or not! About 25% of all of the dogs that are “owner surrenders” or “strays”, that come into a shelter are purebred dogs.
The most common excuses: “We are moving and we can’t take our dog (or cat).” Really? Or they may say “The dog got bigger than we thought it would”. How big did you think a German Shepherd or Lab would get? “We don’t have time for her”. Really? Why didn’t you think of that in the first place. “She’s chewing up our stuff”. How about making her a part of your family? The figure if they dump their dog at a shelter they won’t have the stress about finding a place for the dog, they think she’ll get adopted, after all, she’s a good dog”.
Odds are your pet won’t get adopted & how stressful do you think being in a shelter is? Most shelters across the country have an allotted time frame for owner relinquishes to find a new family from the moment you drop it off (some shelters may even euthanize the minute you walk out the door).
Sometimes that cute little puppy you adopted may get a few extra days if the shelter isn’t full (which rarely happens). Your pet will be confined to a run/kennel in a room with other barking or crying animals. It will have to relieve itself where it eats and sleeps. It will be depressed and it will cry constantly for the you..family that abandoned it. If your pet is lucky, the shelter may have enough volunteers that day to take him/her for a walk and show them some love and attention. If they don’t, your pet won’t get any attention besides having a bowl of food slid under the kennel door and the waste sprayed out of its pen with a high-powered hose.
If your dog is big, black or certain breeds it may in some shelters be pretty much considered a “dead dog walking”. Those dogs just don’t get adopted. It doesn’t matter how ‘sweet’ or ‘well behaved’ they are.
If your dog doesn’t get adopted within their allotted time frame and the shelter is full, it will be destroyed. If the shelter isn’t full and your dog is good enough, it may get a stay of execution, but not for long . Most dogs get very kennel protective after about a week and are destroyed for showing aggression. Even the sweetest dogs will turn in this environment.
Think before you make that impulse additional to your family. These are the sad statistics for pets in the U.S.
Estimated number of cats and dogs entering shelters each year: 6-8 million (HSUS estimate)
Estimated number of cats and dogs euthanized by shelters each year: 3-4 million (HSUS estimate)
Estimated number of cats and dogs adopted from shelters each year: 3-4 million (HSUS estimate)
Estimated number of cats and dogs reclaimed by owners from shelters each year: 30 percent of dogs and 2-5 percent of cats entering shelters (HSUS estimate)
Estimated number of animal shelters in the United States: 3,500 (HSUS estimate)
Estimated percent of dogs in shelters who are purebred: 25 percent (HSUS estimate)
Unless otherwise indicated, statistics provided by The National Council on Pet Population, Study and Policy.