Updated: November 29, 2012 6:23AM
Dear Ollie, I have always wondered what really happens to dogs that are not adopted from shelters and cute puppies that never get sold in pet stores. Do you know?
Tango, a mixed breed dog adopted from the Hobart Humane Society
Dear Tango, Well, I don’t want to know. And I believe that deep down in most peoples’ hearts, they do know. The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals has stated that some dogs are sold to dog fighters as bait, sold at discounts or euthanized.
Dogs that are abandoned in even the best shelters are confined in a run or kennel room with about 25 other barking or crying animals. It will have to relieve itself where it eats and sleeps. If a dog is lucky, there will be volunteers there to walk him or her.
has become a significant issue causing larger problems such as shelter overcrowding that leads to euthanasia.
I have read that euthanasia is the leading cause of pet death in the U.S. There are currently about 4 million dogs abandoned every year in the United States and 9 million pets up for adoption. Unfortunately, less than 1 million will be adopted.
Despite this horrific statistic, some people continue to encourage puppy mill breeding by buying from breeders that don’t allow them to see the facility or puppy stores.
Here is a list of the top 10 reasons owners abandon pets:
I work all day.
My wife and/or husband left me.
There’s a new baby on board.
I’m ill or dying.
I can’t afford the care.
The pet is old.
I never trained it so now it’s impossible to handle.
I lost my home and the apartment doesn’t allow pets.
It’s not my pet; someone died and left me in charge.
The female pet keeps having litters and the male pet humps my friends when they visit.
The list is a list of human problems and the companion pets fall victim to their humans’ circumstances. It’s obvious that in an economic crisis, one household member has suffered more than any other — the family pet.
If nobody bought pets from stores and disreputable breeders and everyone adopted then nobody would breed dogs just for money and eventually no innocent dogs would die ... maybe.
Even if we all did the right thing and adopted dogs from shelters, there are still people who make a lot of money fighting and racing dogs. Then those dogs that are too old or too beaten up to be in the game anymore, are abandoned.
I always say, don’t breed or buy while shelter animals die.