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.
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.
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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.