Figures released by the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA) show fewer animals in the US housing system!

Figures released by the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA) show fewer animals in the US housing system!

Figures released by the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA) show fewer animals in the US housing system!

The ASPCA just released pet statistics to make pet lovers’ hearts a little happier. The numbers show that there are fewer animals in local animal shelters and those that are more likely to end up finding permanent homes. New statistics, a compilation of reports from various agencies, show that about 3.3 million dogs and 3.2 million cats (6.5 million in total) ended up in animal shelters. That’s a difference of 700,000 from 2011 when the number was as high as 7.2 million.

Even better news: In 2011, around 2.7 million shelter animals were euthanized each year, and today, that number has reached 1.5 million – a dramatic reduction from the one million life-saving shelter animals! The ASPCA also says pet adoption rates are on the rise. Today, about 3.2 million sheltered animals live in perpetuity through adoption, up from 2.7 million in 2011.

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According to Emily Weiss, ASPCA’s vice president of research and development, the data are encouraging. She thinks these lower numbers can be attributed to something different. One of the most important things they’ve seen is the shift from difficult adoption procedures and regulations to what is commonly referred to as an “open adoption” process. These are adoptions, where both housing workers and potential adopters have a more conversation-based adoption process that’s less intimidating for potential pet owners.

In addition, the availability of lower-cost/free intermittent and neutering services is the biggest factor in preventing an unwelcome increase in the number of animals. More programs aim to provide pet owners with advice and solutions on how to keep animals out of shelters during difficult times. Pet food banks, veterinary funds, and foster care options offer pet parents temporary alternatives to get through rough patches until the only solution may be to give up their animals.

The ASPCA has also seen an increase in miniature pets, meaning more stray pets are reunited with their owners rather than permanently lost in shelters. In 2011, owners repossessed 649,000 pets; in 2016, 710,000 furry family members found their way back to themselves.​​

On the legal side, jurisdictions that are repealing “breed-specific” legislation (such as laws governing pit bulls or other ‘aggressive’ dogs based solely on breed), allowing people to see who the dogs are and what they are behaving like Not just what their “breed” is. Overcoming these limitations and undeserved stereotypes helps some adorable puppies find their homes.

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Generally speaking, Weiss believes that society is increasingly realizing that pets are not just animals, but family members. When we look at pets this way, it’s hard to ignore what needs to be done to protect them and help them live their best lives. Weiss said that while the numbers are positive, we can continue to push them higher.

How can we make these numbers better? According to ASPCA President and CEO Matt Bershadker, communities need to continue to provide and expand safety net programs to provide pet owners with better options in the event of a catastrophic situation. Pet owners who can afford access to essential pet care are less likely to turn to surrender and focus more on keeping their pets at home with their families.

Bershadker also believes that education about banned breeds and continued focus on rehabilitating abused and neglected animals will help put pets in the homes they deserve.

The best and easiest way to reduce the number of housing is to look there first whenever you want to bring a furry family member home. While the statistics are good news, Bershadker said there are still many amazing pets in shelters waiting to be discovered.

Figures released by the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA) show fewer animals in the US housing system!

By aamritri

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