Wednesday, November 18, 2015

About Abandoned Pets

An abandoned pet can indicate irresponsible ownership.

The abandonment of pets has increased in the United States in the late 2000s, according to The problem is not confined to America, however, and a number of reasons similar to those found in the U.S. are given for increases found elsewhere. For example, the BBC News reported in January of 2010 that numbers increase when unwanted Christmas pet gifts are abandoned and, citing Kay Foley of Lewisham Council in London, noted that the recent recession had been a factor.

Animal Shelters

In a story on, reporter Kaitlin Keane noted that the fate of pets in shelters varies greatly and depends upon in which type of shelter the animal has been placed. Open admission shelters will normally accept any animal that is taken to them but will ultimately euthanize animals that are not adopted. These are sometimes referred to as "kill shelters." Shelters that are labeled "no kill" will keep an animal until a place is found for it or until it dies naturally, but, due to space and funding constraints, will not always be able to accept animals.


The American Humane Association makes the point that statistics regarding the fate of animals in shelters are difficult to pinpoint. This is because there are no requirements for maintaining uniform data. However, by extrapolating some limited statistics from 1997, the American Humane Association cites an estimate that 3.7 million animals were euthanized in 2008. They further note that this is a widely used statistic and that it is accepted by the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals.

Reducing Euthanasia

According to the American Humane Association, only 15 percent of animals in shelters are re-united with their owners -- a percentage that would greatly increase if a number of simple steps were taken. These include ensuring that pets wear identification tags, keeping licenses up to date and considering the insertion of a microchip. The association further recommends wider identification precautions when moving, such as a temporary tag that includes a contact phone number. Another practical solution suggests sterilizing all animals before allowing them to leave shelters.

Increasing Funding

The tension between "kill" shelters that will normally accept animals and the "no kill" shelters that can take only limited numbers of animals can be eased by greater public awareness and, through this, the raising of more funds. One way of achieving this is through entertainment media. Premiering in 20 U.S. and Canadian cities between November 2011 and February 2012, a documentary entitled "Best Friend Forgotten," hosted and narrated by David Duchovny, tracks the progress of one stray cat and one stray dog. The documentary's creators hope to increase awareness of the country's pet overpopulation crisis.

Tags: American Humane, American Humane Association, Humane Association, kill shelters, accept animals, animals shelters