A weak economy is no excuse for neglecting pets across America
By Kailey Wilson Hawknews Writer No
longer is it uncommon to find horses running rampant throughout the countryside
or dogs and cats among the alleys. There are generally two reasons why people
enter an animal shelter. Some people aspire to rescue an abandoned pet in
search of a new home. Unfortunately, there are people who arrive there with the
exact opposite intentions. Animal shelters, like video stores, have “drop
boxes,” cages in which people can deposit their unwanted animals, anonymously.
The majority of the animals in that shelter, despite its objections, have a
high chance of being euthanized. According to The American Humane Society, in
2008, an estimated 3.7 million animals in our nation’s shelters were put down.
That’s an average of 10,000 pets each day. This number is going up. I believe
that this is due to our irresponsibility and can be prevented with the combined
efforts of both animal shelters and pet owners.
obvious that Americans are struggling financially. In fact, this is one reason
why so many pets are abandoned or brought to shelters. “We estimate that it
costs between $1400 and $2000 a year, over 10 years, to keep the average dog
and a lot of people just don’t have that spare cash anymore,” says Royal
Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Queensland Spokesman Micheal
Beatty. However, there is a very obvious and sensible solution to this. People
seem to be able to afford unnecessary “essentials” such as iPods, iPads, Kindles
and so many other expensive forms of technology. An iPad alone costs just about
$500. In that one instance, you spent almost a third of what it would cost to
care for a dog for a year. If we can so effortlessly give up this much money,
we can just as easily supply $7 a week to feed Fido.One could of course argue that these
technologies are essential, but why? Yes an iPod is convenient, but there’s
always the radio. A Kindle is handy as well, but why would you buy a book that
you already had just to put on one? Not one of these pieces of technology
however, is as precious as a newborn animal.
another issue that contributes to the number of abandoned pets is our
fascination with infant animals. When pet owners decide not to spay or neuter
(“fix”) their pets, they open up a window for an average of about seven more
pets to be brought into the world. Once born, these puppies or kittens have to
be sold, kept, or given away. They have to find new owners. Very often, they
are killed because they can’t find homes, or banished to the overflowing animal
shelters, where they may die as well. Again, the solution here is very simple,
and entirely up to careless owners. If people would choose to fix their pets,
they would eliminate the need to find homes for their offspring, thus keeping
them out of the ever filling shelters. These young animals, however, bring
income. Some purebred dogs sell for upwards of $1000, and people have found
ways to sell their mixed breed dogs for profit as well. Breeders don’t consider
where their “products” are going. They figure if they’re making money then it
doesn’t really matter, but in truth, many of these purebreds could just as well
end up in shelters.
daily recurrence of abandoned pets is again, causing a problem that will never
be completely solved.However, as
demonstrated, there are things that can be done to ease this problem. Animal
shelters across the U.S. require that all pets coming into the shelters be
fixed as soon as they arrive. Humane societies have also supported low cost
spay and neuter clinics. The fact that these clinics are low cost is used as an
incentive for people to fix their pets. But again, an estimated 64%, of animals that enter
shelters are euthanized due to a lack of holding space. Dogs are euthanized 54%
of the time and cats are euthanized an incredible 71% of the time.
never be able to completely stop the shelters from euthanizing unwanted pets. We
must take the necessary steps to keep them from ending up there. If we can
accomplish this there will be far fewer abandoned pets, and fewer that will end
up in shelters only to be euthanized.