Overpopulation of Animals in Animal Shelters
Rogue Community College
Over Population of Animals in Animal Shelters
Millions of companion animals are being euthanized by animal shelters each year nationwide. One might ask why this is. Is there any one person or persons that is responsible for the over population of animals going to our local shelters? These are all questions that need to be answered. If we as the general public want to start tackling these problems, we need to gain further understanding of how and why these problems are created in the first place. As with every topic there are always two sides to every story. This topic is no different. The different voices and opinions vary as much as the different types of breeds of animals. First you have the authority group, like that of your local animal shelters and humane societies. These groups agree primarily on the idea that yes, animal over population is a huge problem, and that spaying and neutering is the number one way to stop domesticated animals from creating more and more offspring. The second solution that many of the authority groups share is the fact that pet owners are not always as informed as they should be about the amount of time, attention, and money it actually takes to properly care for an animal. While speaking with Dr. Joseph Hoelzle, a local veterinarian of 32 years in Cave Junction, OR, he definitely agrees that animal over population is a HUGE problem. He is presented daily with animals that have been lost or abandoned. Dr. Joe and his staff only have a small facility, so when they do receive dogs and cats at their door step, they are very limited in the options they have. If an animal is very sick or injured they have the legal right to euthanize. Otherwise if the animal in question is a dog they have to call the local animal shelter, as they do not have the facilities to facilitate dogs. Cats on the other hand, they can do more with. Dr. Joe and his staff can house them longer and try and find homes for them. When asked his opinion on whether or not he thought the public is lacking in education on the actual amount of responsibility it takes to take care of animals, his response was yes, definitely. “Take horses for example, people see horses and how pretty they are and decided to bring one home. If you have never owned a horse before, or have never even been exposed to horses and how to take care of them, then you have no clue how much work it actually takes to maintain one.” Dr. Joe went on to say that the average size dog that is in good health takes approximately $10,000 a year to properly care for them. The first step when making any decisions on obtaining an animal, no matter what type or breed, is always research. Research how big they will be, what types of health problems are prone to those specific animals, do they require a lot of maintenance, are they high in energy, and so forth. Another interview that was conducted was with Marci, from the Josephine County Animal Shelter in Grants Pass, OR. Not knowing how far out the animal shelter was from my location, I made sure to leave with plenty of time to find the shelter as well as be early for the actual interview its self. As I was sitting out front of the animal shelter waiting for my interview to be had, I can hear all the barking and howling of all the dogs. Through their sad cries you can hear the yearning in their voices to just be loved. This is just one of the many reasons I absolutely love dogs. Although they are locked in “jail” not know what their final destination might be, they still greet everyone with a smile, and a wagging tail, faithful to the end. The first question to break the ice that I asked Marci was, do you like your job. Marci says she absolutely loves her job and would not change anything she does daily that she is somewhat of an adrenalin junkie. ‘This job is a very rewarding job,...