Why Rescue?

Created+with+GIMP
Back to Article
Back to Article

Why Rescue?

Created with GIMP

Created with GIMP

Emily Chen

Created with GIMP

Emily Chen

Emily Chen

Created with GIMP

Alyssa Rave, Staff Writer

Animals are precious creatures that unfortunately face overpopulation and euthanization in shelters. Pet mills and illegal breeding add to the fire of the crisis, but there are so many more reasons to support animal adoptions. The statistics involving euthanization and abandonment rates are shockingly depressing. It’s no secret that there are billions of strays and shelter animals around the world. The overpopulation of dogs and cats in the U.S. alone is clear, with no kill, low-kill, and high-kill shelters set up in each state.

Over 2.6 million dogs and cats were annually euthanized in U.S. shelters in a study that ended in 2011—2.6 million loving lives gone. Currently, the average euthanization rate in the U.S. is 1.6 million animals per year. This decline was only caused by new state laws that regulated mass breeding and the largest euthanization year recorded, with 3.5 million shelter animals put to death. These disturbing statistics don’t even account for starving strays roaming the streets or for the existence of pet mills.

Shelters often overflooded with lonely animals that remain in the shelter system their whole lives for no legitimate reason. Pet mills continuously produce more and more animals at unhealthy rates in unsanitary conditions, but the mills remained virtually untouched due to the business they can make with pet shops and online exchanges. Unfortunately, because the main selling point of mill animals is usually that they’re “pure”, there’s been a lasting stigma around mixed breeds that have prevented shelter animals from getting as much commercial attention. Thankfully, lawmakers have begun to fight against this problem by passing bills such as the California Bill AB 485 that prevents pet mills from turning to pet stores as retail outlets.

With such measures slowly being introduced to the nation, citizens can hopefully be more inclined to purchase, adopt, and rescue the abundance of loving animals living in shelters. Why not rescue? When an animal is adopted, the adoption fee can cover a neuter, microchip, and vaccinations. For every 7 million animals that enter shelters, 4 million will be euthanized, so why shouldn’t we focus on the obviously horrible statistics regarding the shelters? Only 20% of the pets in the U.S. are adopted, but the usual excuses to get out of adopting are basically myths. Even in shelters, 25% of the animals are purebred and almost all of the animals were abandoned by their previous owners.

Instead of discussing the horrid statistics, get involved. Abused, neglected, abandoned, and lonely shelter animals can’t wait to escape the shelters and the risk of euthanasia. So many animals shouldn’t have to be a statistic, but be a life.

Graphic by EMILY CHEN