PetSmart Charities commissioned a study in 2011 to look at attitudes regarding pet adoption and spay/neuter. One of the great misconceptions the research identified is how many cats and dogs the public believes are euthanized in animal shelters across the country versus how many actually are. In a similar study in 2009, the public estimated 1.5 million companion animals are euthanized yearly; in 2011, the number dropped to 1.2 million. Unfortunately, the estimated number of companion animals euthanized yearly is 4 million. According to the study, 88 percent of those taking part underestimated the number.
Adopting from shelters and spaying/neutering companion animals will help reduce the number of healthy, adoptable animals killed in shelters every year in this country. But, when you think about it…even one death is too many; 4 million is an atrocity.