Animal Shelters Overcrowding
Whenever someone mentions having a pet, an image of furry little dogs, cats, or other little creatures that help fulfill a person’s daily lives comes to mind. What escapes thought however, is the vast number of animals that are left to roam the streets to fend for themselves and forced to fight for every meal or the roughly 6-8 million animals that manage to find their way to an animal shelters or rescues (The Humane Society of the United States [HSUS], October 26, 2009) in hopes of finding a home where they can become a part of a family. Domestic animal overpopulation is an epidemic that must be brought under control because animal shelters are so overpopulated that the majority have to be euthanized to make room for more animals. Several methods are available to help reduce this overpopulation problem such as spay or neutering a pet or adopting an animal from an animal shelter or rescue. People losing interest in the animal or not researching what they are getting are just a couple of examples of why animals are being abandoned at an alarming rate. More recently, the economy is playing a vital role in the overpopulation of shelter. The effects of the economic recession are devastating for families, with the highest unemployment and foreclosure rates in United States history. As families are forced to tighten their belts and reduce spending, domestic pets are one of the first to go. As the economy continues to decline, more domestic animal are being turned loose or abandoned to do just that, fend for themselves. These animals are appearing in shelters at an alarming rate. It is estimated that 60 million dogs and 75 millions cats are owned in the United States (HSUS, 2009). The majority of these animals came to the owners for little to no cost, either through a friend or family, adoption from an animal shelter, or gathering a stray from the streets. Most of these animals, approximately 75% are spayed or neutered (HSUS,...
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