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8 Things You Didn’t Know About Rescue Animals

8 Things You Didn’t Know About Rescue Animals


Whether they’re strays, lost, abused, or their human companions just couldn’t take care of them, millions of pets end up in shelters each and every year. Some are adopted by loving new families — but some don’t meet such a kind fate. Click through to read some interesting, and, yes, heartbreaking, facts about shelter animals.

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1. Pets that End up in Shelters are More Likely to Be Euthanized than Adopted. Cats are more likely than dogs to be euthanized.

2. Most Shelter Pets Haven’t Been Spayed or Neutered. Only 10% of pets have already been fixed — even though the cost of the procedure is less costly than taking care of a puppy for a year. Also, 1/3 of dogs and nearly 1/2 of cats that are given up have never been to a vet.

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3. 1 out of every 20 Dogs and Cats Will End up in a Shelter Every Year. There are about 160 million pet dogs and cats in the United States — one is taken to a shelter about every 8 seconds.

4. Most Pets Were Not Adopted From Animal Shelters. Only about 30% of pets come from animal shelters — most of the rest are either purchased from a breeder or a pet store.

Also Check Out: 5 Incredible Things Dogs Sense About You


5. Not Every Pet Comes from a Terrible Situation. There are thousands of terrible, disgusting stories of animal abuse out there, of course. But the truth is, not every pet ends up in a shelter because of abuse. In fact, the top reasons pets are put in shelters are because their human companion is moving, or they are having problems with their landlord.

6. Most Shelter Animals are Not Purebreds. People love their purebreds — and don’t often look for them in animal shelters. However, estimates for the percentages of purebred dogs and cats in animal shelters range between 10% and 25%. Mutts are great, too!

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7. Adult Cats are Often Euthanized to Make Room for Kittens. Many shelters see kittens as more “adoptable” — and, with limited space, senior and adult cats are often the first sacrificed.

8. Less than a 1/4 of Lost Dogs Are Returned. If they are reunited with their human companions, it’s most likely because they have tags or a microchip.

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Read more: Adoptable pets, Animal Rights, Behavior & Communication, Cats, Community, Community Service, Do Good, Dogs, Fun, Humor & Inspiration, Less Common Pets, Life, Make a Difference, Pets, , , ,

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Katie Waldeck

Katie is a freelance writer focused on pets, food and women’s issues. A Chicago native and longtime resident of the Pacific Northwest, Katie now lives in Oakland, California.


+ add your own
8:15AM PDT on May 6, 2015

I haven't adopted from shelters (yet), because all my animals but one came around to my house in conditions of need, and they became welcome residents...that happened in California, with the gorgeous cat Pandolfo, the last of my adoptees there, flying to Texas when I got a job here...

5:25PM PST on Feb 24, 2015

All of my pets have been adopted from shelters and I could not ask for better additions to our family.

10:46AM PST on Nov 14, 2014

They are yours forever. They are your responsibility. Your responsibility does not end when you change jobs or change boyfriends or change apartments. If you give up your pet for any reason you are unfit. A pet is a forever pet.

3:21PM PDT on Nov 1, 2014

All these shelter pets deserve a home.

8:34AM PDT on Oct 19, 2014

People forget that unless the animal was born to a mother who is in the shelter at the time, none of these innocent, loving, vulnerable beings started out in a shelter.
Many of the very same faithful, devoted sentient beings languishing in shelters started out from the breeders.

Breed specific rescues take in what they can. Individuals can still slip through. The difference now is that the families that bought them either dumped them, abandoned them, gave them away, lost them or had their animal stolen. The difference is that These once loved, cherished, beings are now somewhere that they don't understand, frightened and confused and often will forfeit their lives through absolutely no fault of their own if no one comes for them or adopts them. Even a well bred beauty will not look like one, if they've been living in filth, frightened, fearful and in need of care.

The difference in getting a dog or cat from a shelter instead of a breeder, is that you are truly saving a life. Who hasn't needed a chance at something in their lives?
Every dog I have lived with is an individual with remarkable traits and gifts of their own. It is up to us to be trustworthy and allow them to blossom. There is no greater gift in our lives than saving another sentient beings life. They enrich ours ten times over and many have saved ours in return. Visit and support the Shelters! Your next best friend for life is waiting there for you!

10:29AM PDT on Oct 16, 2014

I don't understand why some people insist on purebred animals from breeders, don't they get it that animals in shelters die when they do this!! Animals in shelters should be given first priority!

8:27AM PDT on Oct 15, 2014

Sad statistics. Both my dog and cat are adopted from the shelter. I could not ask for better pets. Wish I could take on more, but can't.

6:52AM PDT on Oct 15, 2014

interesting thank you

6:31AM PDT on Oct 15, 2014

Sob! SO sad! I wish I could have more pets!

6:05AM PDT on Oct 15, 2014

very sad :(

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Disclaimer: The views expressed above are solely those of the author and may not reflect those of
Care2, Inc., its employees or advertisers.

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