Nathan Winograd has a post detailing why “pet overpopulation” is a myth:
- How many dogs and cats enter shelters annually? 8 million. (Some put it as low as 6 million, but I am going to use a “worst case” scenario.)
- Of those how many are savable? 90 percent or just over 7 million.
- Of those how many will be saved? 4 million.
- How many of the savable animals are killed? 3 million.
- How many need to find new homes? If shelters are doing their jobs comprehensively, just over 2 million (3 million on the high end). The remainder should be increased reclaims or in the case of feral cats, TNR’d.
- Other than those who will adopt from a shelter as a matter of course (those saved above), how many people in the U.S. are looking to bring a new dog or cat into their home next year but have not decided where they will get the animal and can be influenced to adopt from a shelter? 17 million. So, 17 million people for 2-3 million dogs and cats.
The Shelter Pet Project has a Powerpoint presentation here. The first several pages explain how we can find homes for all the healthy/treatable pets in shelters in the U.S. and include a slide on the methodology behind the numbers:
To fully understand the problem and to strategize wisely on the solution, the Ad Council and Draftfcb:
•conducted in-depth research
•ran surveys and focus groups
•met with The HSUS and Maddie’sFund at length
•…and visited shelters
HSUS has a press release on the Shelter Pet Project on their website:
According to The Humane Society of the United States and Maddie’s Fund, eight million pets enter shelters and rescue groups every year, with three million of these healthy and treatable pets euthanized due to a lack of adoption.
“By reaching a subset of the population uncertain about where they’ll obtain their next dog or cat and convincing them that an animal shelter is the best source, we can end the euthanasia of homeless dogs and cats in this country,” said Wayne Pacelle, president and CEO of the Humane Society of the United States.
Maddie’s Fund looks at the shelter numbers here:
There are around 3 million healthy or treatable dogs and cats put to death in shelters each year.
There are 14 million people who have adopted shelter pets already, and another 41 million who’ve indicated they’re considering doing so – we call those the “swing voters,” and of them, 17 million will bring a pet into their family in the next year.
We only need to convince 3 million of those 17 million to do what they are already considering doing, get their new pet from a shelter, and every treatable or healthy cat or dog in America will have found a home.
America’s approximately 4,000 animal shelters are currently adopting out more than 4 million pets per year – between 2 and 3 per shelter, per day. By simply increasing that by an additional 2 pets per shelter, per day, the 3 million healthy and treatable pets who currently lose their lives in shelters will be saved.
Does a no kill nation seem achievable to you?