About Eight Million Pets are Homeless in America

A survey conducted by PetSmartCharities found that Americans are not fully aware of the problem of pet homelessness. Only 29 percent of the 3,000 surveyed knew about pet homelessness, and 75 percent guessed there are less than one million homeless pets in America, whereas the real number is closer to eight million. Another survey showed about forty percent believed the number of homeless pets euthanized each year to be less than one million, but the true number is closer to four million. Estimates from the Human Society of the United States, confirm the above numbers.

A movement called People Saving Pets has been started to address the lack of awareness around the number of homeless pets in America, and the number of homeless pets that are euthanized each year. While these topics certainly are not pleasant to consider, part of the problem is simply lack of awareness, so getting the information out in the public eye is part of the solution.

The executive director of PetSmartCharities Susana Della Maddalena said, “This year in America, 8 million pets will end up in shelters – and 4 million adoptable pets will be euthanized – simply because they do not have homes. People Saving Pets is designed to fundamentally change how people think about – and act – on the issue of pet homelessness. This movement is about inspiring people who love pets to take action, now.” (Source: PRnewswire.com)

She has been with the organization since 2003, and has been involved in fundraising to the tune of nearly 30 million dollars. PetSmartCharities is a non-profit organization supporting programs to raise awareness about the treatment of companion animals, and to save their lives by promoting adoptions, neutering/spaying, emergency relief programs and animal rescues.

Over 100 local and national animal organizations have joined their movement so far. For individuals, PetSmartCharities has an animal shelter locater to help find shelters and neuter/spay services near them. You can also join their movement, by registering on their site.

Image Credit: Ohnoitsjamie

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Duane B.
.6 years ago

Thank you for sharing.

Yulan Lawson
Yulan Lawson6 years ago

All pets deserve a forever home. They have feelings, emotions and memories just like us and we wouldn't like it.

Doug G.
Doug G6 years ago

Best Friends Animal Society has been very helpful in addressing the problem with homeless pets, through their No More Homelss Pets campaign. However, it still remains a huge problem. Ignorance and apathy are certainly a large part of this, but, I do think how this society views animals as objects and therefore disposible is everybit if not more of a problem.
I have come to hate consumerism, which is so superficial and detrimental in every aspect, but when people project this consumeristic mindset upon living creatures, it creates far more problems for these domesticated animals, who, unfortunately, are dependant upon people.
Young animals needing socialization and training are often not given these by initial owners. When the animal is turned in it is often due to behavioral issues which are compounded in a shelter setting. There needs to be a colaborative effort to make sure animals are given physical and pyschological support to help preclude returns to shelter setting. Best Friends has been instrumental in helping animals get the psychological help they need to provide for a better outcome for the animal. This should become more universal along with the training of humans that these are living creatures not disposable items.

Patty B.
Patty B6 years ago

I have only bought one pet in my life and that was because it resembled my recently deceased pet . BIG MISTAKE....it was from a breeder and died within 2 years when I thought the pet would live at least 10 more. so...turned out to be a double time of heartache .
Now...I have a rescued cat .

Patty B.
Patty B6 years ago


Elaine A.
Past Member 6 years ago

And this is exactly breaks my heart!

Winn Adams
Winn Adams6 years ago

Spay and neuter your pets and please always adopt from shelters and rescue organizations.

Lynn D.
Lynn D6 years ago

It's hard to believe that people are not aware of this, thanks for informative article!

Butterfly K
Butterfly K7 years ago

Yes it is a problem here in Australia as well, more people should be responsible & fix up their pets before they breed all over the place.

New G.
W. C7 years ago

Agree with paula e.