If you’ve been reading The Lazy Pit Bull blog for long, you undoubtedly know that we are very big proponents of shelter and rescue adoption.
But it’s been a while since we talked about all the reasons why it’s so important to consider adopting your next pet from your local shelter or rescue group. Just take a look at this infographic, which provides some pretty shocking numbers behind the need.
Did you know that:
- 7.6 Million companion animals enter shelters each year.
- 53% of the adoptable pets in North America are dogs.
- 3,900,000 dogs enter animal shelters every year.
- 1,200,000 (or 30%) are euthanized (a number that’s down from 65% in 1997).
- 60% of all households in the US have at least one pet.
Some of those numbers are downright staggering, wouldn’t you agree? The fact that 1.2 million dogs are euthanized every single year is just unacceptable to me, and I hope you feel the same way.
But how can we change those numbers? How can we make a difference? What can we do to help save all those dogs (and cats) that enter shelters each year, only to never leave?
Sites like Petfinder.com are a great place to start. Did you know that Petfinder works with 12,089 adoption groups across North America to find homes for companion animals? And there are plenty of animals available, obviously. As of May 25, 2016 there were 129,224 dogs available for adoption on Petfinder.com. Dogs like:
- 17,169 Labrador Retrievers
- 16,841 Pit Bull Terriers
- 11,467 Chihuahuas
- 8,985 Shepherds
- 5,011 Boxers
- 4,324 American Staffordshire Terriers
Astounding, and yet there are so many people who don’t realize that the dog they’re looking for may very well be available from a shelter or rescue group.
If they’re looking for a specific breed, people may believe that their only option is a breeder, when in fact that’s not the case. You might be surprised to learn that 25% of dogs that enter animal shelters are purebred.
Do you know what the top 10 most searched dog breeds were on Petfinder earlier this year? Take a look.
- German Shepherd
- Golden Retriever
- Labrador Retriever
- Shih Tzu
- Australian Shepherd
These highly sought-after breeds can be found on Petfinder (and in your local shelter), and it’s important to remember that a shelter or rescue dog is not broken. It’s not damaged. Quite often, companion animals are surrendered to shelters or rescue groups due to no fault of their own, after years of living in homes with families, children, and other pets.
They end up in shelters because their owners are moving, or because suddenly it’s become “inconvenient” to care for them. Maybe the family had a new baby or got a new pet, and they decided to ditch the old one.
There are so many reasons why a dog or cat may be left at an animal shelter, and most likely none of them mean the pet won’t make a wonderful new addition to your family.
So how can you help?
If, like me, you want to raise awareness of pets in need of adoption, please use the buttons at the end of this post to share it far and wide. Share it on Facebook and Twitter, in an email to your friends and family, even on Pinterest. Please help me spread the word about the numbers behind the need for pet adoption, and let’s save some lives together.
Also, make sure to check out our featured Adopt-A-Bull of The Week dogs. Most of these beauties are in foster homes in New York and surrounding states, and you can help them find their forever families by sharing their stories with your friends and family and across social media.
My thanks to Petfinder.com and Orvis.com for creating this amazing infographic, and for all they do for pets in need.