We’ve previously written about the reasons many people are reluctant to visit a shelter for their next pet. One of the biggest barriers to adoption is the concern of many people that a shelter will be depressing. Some, who might not have ever visited a shelter in the past, imagine a somewhat scary place housing animals with health or behavior problems. Whether those misperceptions are based on poor photography of adoptables or sad advertisements, some potential adopters may be reluctant to look to a shelter for their next pet.
But, a recent survey found out that reluctance to visit a shelter might also be due to the fact that many people just don’t realize the number of animals that die every day in animal shelters across the US.
A recent study by Best Friends Animal Society found that half of Americans surveyed believe that approximately 500 dogs and cats are euthanized every day in shelters across the country. The reality, while better than in years past, is a number far more staggering: 9,000.
Every day, 9,000 healthy dogs and cats are killed at shelters due to the fact that they don’t have a home and the shelters don’t have the space.
Another common misconception by close to half those surveyed was that shelter animals will be reclaimed by their owners, adopted, or transported to another shelter or rescue to continue to look for a forever home. The numbers of successful reunions of lost pets with owners is increasing, as are adoptions and transports, but the fact remains that millions of animals will never again put a paw outside a shelter once they are admitted.
Best Friends, a national animal welfare organization focused exclusively on ending the killing of dogs and cats in America's shelters, released these survey results for the launch of its Save Them All™ initiative. Although the numbers show that few Americans are actively helping their shelters through donations (just 32 percent) or pet adoption (15 percent within the last year), Best Friends is recommending many ways to help. The methods include donations, adoptions, spay/neuter, and volunteering of your time to help a shelter in your local area.
One last way Best Friends urges everyone to assist is simple and free: just help spread the word about the state of shelters across America today with family and friends. Best Friends is asking for support on your favorite social media platform using the hashtag #SaveThemAll. Whether that’s an upbeat Tweet about a great adoptable pet in your area or a Facebook status post about the number of homeless pets killed every day, you can help spread the word and, in the process, help Save Them All.
Image: Yukari /via Flickr