70 Million Reasons to Do This One Thing

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By Jill Sullivan Grueter, President of The Project Pawsitive Foundation

It’s estimated that there are 70 MILLION STRAY CATS in the UNITED STATES. I SAID STRAY CATS! And, it’s impossible to come up with a statistic on just how many stray dogs are out there. Impossible, according to the ASPCA.

Not a 3rd world country. Not some other far away land. THE UNITED STATES! Did you know that only 10 percent of animals that come into shelters are spayed or neutered. This is an outrage.

Last night, the east coast got slammed by a ridiculously-huge storm called Juno (ok?) that dumped nearly three feet of snow on us. The wind was howling so hard that it sounded like a freight train outside of my bedroom window. And, you know what I stayed awake thinking about as my pups snored peacefully next to me? The same thing so many other animal advocates did: what about the homeless animals out there tonight? Boom. My heat sank.

Take a look at these stats and then share them with your friends that haven’t “gotten” around to spaying or neutering their pets. Or, have heard about how wrong it is. I’ll tell you what’s wrong – the fact that 2.7 million dogs and cats are euthanized each year – most due to overpopulation!

These are the FACTS. Spread them around.

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  • It is impossible to determine how many stray dogs and cats live in the United States; estimates for cats alone range up to 70 million.
  • The average number of litters a fertile cat produces is one to two a year; the average number of kittens is four to six per litter.
  • The average number of litters a fertile dog produces is one a year; the average number of puppies is four to six.
  • Owned cats and dogs generally live longer, healthier lives than strays.
  • Many strays are lost pets who were not kept properly indoors or provided with identification.
  • Only 10%of the animals received by shelters have been spayed or neutered, while 83% of pet dogs and 91% of pet cats are spayed or neutered.
  • The cost of spaying or neutering a pet is less than the cost of raising puppies or kittens for a year.
  • Approximately 7.6 million companion animals enter animal shelters nationwide every year. Of those, approximately 3.9 million are dogs and 3.4 million are cats.
  • Each year, approximately 2.7 million animals are euthanized (1.2 million dogs and 1.4 million cats).
  • Approximately 2.7 million shelter animals are adopted each year (1.4 million dogs and 1.3 million cats).
  • About 649,000 animals who enter shelters as strays are returned to their owners. Of those, 542,000 are dogs and only 100,000 are cats.
  • Of the dogs entering shelters, approximately 35% are adopted, 31% are euthanized and 26% of dogs who came in as strays are returned to their owner.
  • Of the cats entering shelters, approximately 37% are adopted, 41% are euthanized, and less than 5% of cats who came in as strays are returned to their owners.
  • About twice as many animals enter shelters as strays compared to the number that are relinquished by their owners.
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