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Dogs are such agreeable friends—they are always happy to see you and will go out of their way to put a smile on your face.
But as friendly as these gentle creatures are, they sadly face all manner of challenges, the top of which is abandonment.
Every year, lots of dogs (as well as other pets) are abandoned by their owners and these numbers should worry any pet parent.
The Number of Dogs That Get Abandoned
Nearly 3.1 million dogs are abandoned each year in America. This number is extrapolated from the number of dogs that are received by the different shelters across the country according to data provided by ASPCA (American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals).
And it is not just an American problem—the number of abandoned dogs in the world is estimated to be around 200 million per annum.
On the bright side, the number seems to be going down in the USA because, in 2011, the number of abandoned dogs was estimated to be 3.9 million per annum.
That said, we still have a long way to go.
Studies have shown that 14% of dogs will get lost at least once every 5 years.
Of pet parents who lose dogs, 93% will reunite with their dogs and 7% will never see their furry friends again.
The lost dogs that don’t get found end up as strays and only a handful will get rescued and placed in shelters.
Pet parents are, therefore, encouraged to use some tools like dog collars that can help them reunite with their pet if they get lost.
You should also put a leash on your dog whenever you are taking him for a walk to keep him close to you.
The figures get even grimmer if you consider the number of homeless dogs.
If data from PETA is anything to go by, we have a homeless dog pandemic on our hands.
It is estimated that on any single day, at least 70 million dogs are roaming the streets across America.
Peta argues that this huge figure of homeless dogs is largely caused by people who do not neuter or spay their pets thereby resulting in the addition of more dogs into a society that doesn’t have enough homes for the dogs that are here.
It doesn’t help that lots of shelters have started turning animals away because they are already overwhelmed.
It’s usually a delicate balance between offering good care to the animals and making sure none lacks a place.
But sadly, the resources are always limited. If the abandoned dogs end up on the streets, they will continue to mate and give birth to new homeless puppies and the vicious cycle will continue.
When the abandoned dogs get to a shelter, some of them might get adopted by a loving family but almost half of them don’t.
To be specific, only 2.1 million shelter dogs get adopted each year. This leaves a deficit of a whopping million abandoned dogs that will never get adopted.
Animal control departments are usually forced to put some dogs to rest as a way of alleviating the problem.
Data from ASPCA shows that at least 390,000 shelter dogs are euthanized every year.
Even though this number has declined significantly since 2011, the dogs that are put to rest are still too many and we can all do better by playing our part.
Related Post: Surprising Facts about Street Dogs in Mexico
What You Can Do To Help
Research shows that only one out of every ten dogs that are born will find a permanent home.
Breeders might also not succeed in finding a suitable home for all the puppies they breed.
Some of these dogs might get a temporary home only to be returned to a shelter when the owner can’t take care of them any longer.
Neutering can help reduce the instances of this problem but it is almost impossible to completely control it.
That said, there are a couple of things you can do to help.
- Spaying/Neutering: Ensure you spay or neuter your pets to avoid compounding the problem.
- Donate To A Shelter Near You: Most of the shelters that turn down dogs do so for lack of funding. Your small donation might help to keep an abandoned dog away from the streets until he can find a new family.
- Consider Adopting A New Dog: Even if you are not sure about adopting, you can offer to foster one. Fostering a dog will help an abandoned dog get accustomed to living in a home setting again and that will make it easier for him to get adopted by another family.
It is so heartbreaking that over 3.1 million dogs get abandoned each year.
And this is just stats for America, so the situation is worse if we were to look at it from a global perspective.
Pet parents should be encouraged to prepare better when looking for a dog to ensure they get a dog they are willing and able to support.
It may also be a good idea to think of adopting a dog from a nearby shelter because these dogs are typically in dire need of a good home.
Sable McNeil is a canine chef, professional pet blogger, and proud owner of two male dogs. I have been an animal lover all my life, with dogs holding a special place in my heart. Initially, I created this blog to share recipes, tips, and any relevant information on healthy homemade dog treats. But because of my unrelenting passion to make a difference in the world of dogs, I have expanded the blog’s scope to include the best information and recommendations about everything dog lovers need to know about their canine friends’ health and wellbeing. My mission now is to find the most helpful content on anything related to dogs and share it with fellow hardworking hound lovers. While everything I share is in line with the latest evidence-based veterinarian health guidelines, nothing should be construed as veterinary advice. Please contact your vet in all matters regarding your Fido’s health.