The American Veterinary Medical Association estimated the U.S. dog population in 1991 to be 52.5 million, living in 34.6 million American households. Accurate numbers of dogs euthanized (put to sleep) annually are not available, but according to the last shelter survey, between five and ten million shelter dogs were euthanized in 1988.
Hundreds of thousands of other abandoned and unwanted dogs are reluctantly destroyed by veterinarians and private citizens each year.The thought of arbitrarily killing millions of helpless, harmless, loving pets brings tears of anguish and roars of indignation to our country’s animal -loving population. Who can change those horrible statistics? You and I.
By applying the wisdom we all possess, specifically, by exercising common sense in our management of pets.Most dogs should be neutered before they reach breeding age. Only a select few should be bred, and then only when the breeder accepts responsibility for placing the offspring into carefully selected, loving homes where they will be properly cared for.
Unfortunately, most dogs euthanized are adults. Some people love furry little pups, but fail to establish long-term relationships, and are anxious to be rid of them when they reach adulthood. That is especially true in large breeds.