Things are improving. More and more people are having their dogs spayed or neutered. In fact, more than 75% of the dogs in the United States have undergone this procedure. Also, people are getting the message that when they want to buy a dog, the first place they should look is their local animal shelter.
Nevertheless, around 3.7 million dogs and cats are euthanized in the United States every year. This is a huge number and we should do everything we can to reduce it.
There are a number of reasons that people surrender their animals to shelters. Here are some of the most common.
Many dogs that end up in shelters have been found wandering the streets. They are taken to the local shelter and efforts are made to locate the owner. Incredibly , only a fairly low percentage of dogs in United States are micro-chipped. Some estimates are as low as 25%. In the United Kingdom 94% are micro-chipped. Many dogs are found with no collar or identification tag. This makes finding the owner incredibly difficult.
Given that as many as one in 3 dogs become lost at some point in their lives, you should make sure it is as easy as possible to identify your dog.
The American Kennel Club runs a National registration system for micro chips.
Training a dog requires patience and persistence. In fact, it can be downright frustrating. Many people give up too soon and unacceptable behaviour pattern persist. Dogs aren't mind readers and they will not naturally do what you expect of them. They are not bad, they’re just uneducated.
If you take the time to properly train your dog life will be more enjoyable for you both.
It is tragic that's some dogs are surrendered and eventually euthanized when it would have just taken a bit more training to sort things out.
The Dog Becomes Old Or Sick
More than 7% of dogs that are surrendered to shelters are taken there because they are old or terminally ill. The owner is making what seems to them to be a rational decision because the dog is going to die anyway
However, the moment you buy a new dog you know that at some point in the not too distant future, usually around 10 years or less, your new dog will become an old dog. This fact should be part of your decision making process when you get the dog. Your dog will give you many years of loyalty and companionship. When he is old, it is time to repay that by relieving his pain and keeping him comfortable yourself.
The Owner’s Circumstances Change.
Sometimes the owner faces circumstance which make it impossible for him to keep the dog. He made move home and the owner will not allowed tenants to have pets, he may become too sick to care for a dog or he may just not be able to afford the upkeep of a dog anymore. And sometimes of course the owner dies before the dog.
These are really the only occasions when it is justifiable to take a dog to a shelter. Every effort should be made to re-home the dog with friends or family before doing so.
It is heart wrenching to be forced into a situation where you have to give up your loyal companion because of circumstances beyond your control.
These dogs will make an ideal pet for a new family. And should be given every opportunity to find one before being euthanized.