Crunching the Numbers
The Humane Society of the United States has statistics pertaining to animals surrendered or in shelters and they are alarming and concerning:
- Estimated number of brick-and-mortar animal shelters in the US: 3,500
- Estimated number of rescue groups and animal sanctuaries in North America: 10,000
- Number of cats and dogs entering shelters each year: 6-8 million (down from 13 million in 1973)
- Of the 3 million cats and dogs euthanized in shelters each year, approximately 2.4 million (80%) are healthy and treatable and could have been adopted into new homes
- Percentage of purebred dogs in shelters: 25%
- Number cats and dogs adopted from shelters each year: 4 million
- Percentage of cats euthanized in shelters: 70%
- Percentage of total shelter intake comprised of cats: Approximately 50% (but in some regions 2/3 of shelter population is cats)
Currently there are no statistics that reflect specifically to specially-abled animals in a shelter environment and do you know why? Because most specially-abled animals are comprised of the “euthanized” statistics you are seeing above.
What is even more alarming is the statistic reflecting, “of the three million cats & dogs euthanized in shelters each year, approximately 2.4 million (80%) are healthy & treatable and could have been adopted into new homes…” this means that these animals are being euthanized in shelters and rescues annually due to the fact that the shelter ran out of housing space (over crowding/over population) or maybe the animal had a treatment plan that was not “fiscally responsible” (such as Bart’s eye enucleation, which is a tale for another day) or they were surrendered back to the shelter and were simply “given up on”.