Just yesterday Jess was shopping for last minute holiday items at the local dollar store. He admired a tiny puppy held by a woman inside the store. The female promptly offered to sell him the dog for “five or ten dollars.” He declined but was tempted--in order to save the little guy from a random fate. Matt was crossing a busy downtown intersection when he spotted a baby black lab cowering below a bench while a man shouted out the asking price. No dogs were allowed in the dorm or the poor little guy would have ended up in Matt’s backpack. Neither young man will ever forget those troubling encounters.
Responsible spaying or neutering of pets can help avoid these abusive scenarios. The Humane Society of the United States estimates that animal shelters care for 6-8 million dogs and cats every year in the United States, of whom approximately 3-4 million are euthanized.
Americans are getting far better. In the seventies American shelters put to sleep more than twice that—8 to 20 million animals were euthanized, on average. Even more significant, the number of household pets has exploded, from 67 million forty years ago, to 135 million under current estimates.
Low adoption rates contribute to the down side of shelter statistics. If you can responsibly care for one of these companionable creatures, consider taking a trip to the local animal shelter.
You won’t leave empty hearted!