Dog overpopulation is over.
Many people incorrectly believe that the United States has an overpopulation of homeless dogs. While numbers are sometimes skewed in order to make that appear to be the case, the fact is that there is NO overpopulation of dogs in this country. Many statistics that are used include cats. While there is in fact an overpopulation of homeless cats in this country, when you remove the number of cats from the overall count, statistics reflect a different set of facts regarding dogs.
The director of shelter operations Lisa Feder for the Vancouver Humane Society said it best in a news article highlighting the need for her shelter to import dogs for adoption;
“We have been telling people for years to adopt from shelters, but we’ve also said spay and neuter. We have spay-and-neutered ourselves out of a population of animals.
According to the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA);
78 million dogs are owned in the United States and approximately 44% of all households in the United States have a dog.
Approximately 3.3 million dogs enter U.S. animal shelters nationwide every year. After more than 2.5 million are reunited with their owners or adopted out, approximately 670,000 remaining dogs are euthanized every year in the country. This statistic does not take into account how many of the 670,000 are euthanized due to temperament or health issues making them un-adoptable. It also does not reflect the large proportion of Pit Bull type dogs that enter the shelter system that are not as desired by the public due to local bans, liability insurance costs, and landlord issues, as well as public perception. While there are pockets of areas in the country that deal with homeless pets, there are also areas of the country that are dealing with a shortage of adoptable pets and have turned to importing dogs from other states or into the country to fill demand. In fact, some shelters and rescues have resorted to purchasing dogs, puppies and even pregnant dogs from breeders to fill demand!
Mark Cushing of the Animal Policy Group says that there is a demand for approximately 8 million dogs and puppies every year.
Even if we do not euthanize a single dog, even ones with temperament issues, health issues or placement issues, we will still have a dog shortage of approximatley 7.3 million…PER YEAR!