Column: Breeding Pets Does More Harm than Good


Photo by: James and Joanne Hubal via Carto

'Do you know the three most important words in the world?'

Maddie Nail, Student of Journalism

A problem that often goes unheard of, but it still a dangerous and serious issue, is pet overpopulation, specifically dogs and cats. Most people own either a dog or a cat, adopting from animal shelters, rescues, and breeders.

Unfortunately, this issue is ignored because of the lack of voices; therefore pet owners need to take initiative and spay and neuter their pets and avoid buying from breeders.

The reason there is an issue in the first place is because people are spaying or neutering their cats and dogs. Too many are being born that are unwanted, and are often just thrown on the streets or, tragically, euthanized. People keep buying from breeders, the ones who contribute the most the this problem, and not enough are buying from rescues or animal shelters, causing those animals to be euthanized.

Many pet owners do not even have access to a veterinary care, leaving their pets neither spayed nor neutered. The Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) has been collecting data for years on pet owners living in what they call, “underserved communities.” The results showed that 23 million pets were living in these areas, of which 87 percent are not spayed or neutered, and 77 percent who have never seen a veterinarian in the first place.

American Humane, a nonprofit organization aimed at saving animals, states that two primary factors exist that cause overpopulation: dogs and cats are being allowed to reproduce without a guarantee for their offspring to find homes, and pets that have been given up by owners who no longer want or cannot have them.

After fostering cats and dogs for the past 10 years, I have noticed that the majority of them were strays or simply just unwanted by their previous owners. Sometimes I can have them for a couple days before they get adopted, or it can be months, and in some cases, over a year.

The statistics on this subject are shocking; any animal entering an animal shelter have a 40 percent chance of being killed, and in more populous areas, a 99 percent chance, according to the No Kill Advocacy Center. Here is where it gets technical: ASPCA, a.k.a American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, has collected several facts about overpopulation. The organization claims 6.5 million animals, 3.3 million dogs and 3.2 million cats, enter animal shelters every year, and of those millions of animals, 1.5 million are euthanized and only 3.2 million are adopted.

The solution to this problem is simple: spay and neuter your pets, and do not buy from breeders. Millions of animals are being killed each year because no one will adopt them. Pet overpopulation is a serious problem and not enough people are educated on this issue. So, please, do not contribute to the overpopulation and do not breed your pets.

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