The New York Times recently shared some good animal welfare news: companion animal euthanasia rates have fallen an impressive 75% since 2009.
The Times collected animal shelter data from 20 US municipalities. They found that shelters in many cities are reporting significant drops in dog and cat euthanasia rates.
Why has there been such a decline in recent years? The Times points to several factors, including:
Increased animal welfare activism
Changes in shelter management approaches
Shifting cultural attitudes about stray and homeless animals
Some large US cities with open-intake shelters (municipal institutions that are required to take in animals) have gone from euthanizing hundreds of animals per day to around 10.
Two of the biggest factors in the decline in euthanasia rates are increased spay/neuter (especially for community cats) and the growing public perception that owning a rescue animal is a “badge of honor.”
There’s also an increase in interstate relocation of homeless animals, generally from the southern US to northern states.
Shelters are still facing many challenges, including overcrowding and the spread of contagious diseases. But the overall of trend of more adoptions and less euthanasia is welcome news for all animal lovers!
Today is the 10th annual Celebrate Shelter Pets Day. This awareness event is designed to encourage the adoption of shelter pets by having owners tell their pet adoption stories on social media using the #CelebrateShelterPets hashtag.
An organization of cat care professionals in the UK called The Cat Group has created a very helpful “Kitten Checklist” for anyone thinking about adding a new kitten to their family!
This user-friendly checklist was designed to help owners choose a happy and healthy kitten, whether it comes from a shelter, rescue organization, friend, or breeder.
Besides checking for signs of poor health, the creators of the checklist also note the importance of assessing temperament. “Many people don’t understand that in order to become a good pet cat, kittens need positive interactions with people and need to get used to the human environment and lifestyle before they are about 8 weeks old,” they report.
The checklist guides potential owners through a series of questions. These include things to consider before visiting a shelter or breeder to see kittens and what to observe when you are visiting and interacting with a kitten.
The health section includes an easy way to evaluate the different parts of a kitten’s body: eyes, ears, nose, coat, etc.
You can download or print out the Kitten Checklist pdf by clicking HERE.
Banksy and Hamilton were best canine companions, doing everything together until Hamilton passed away. Banksy was deeply affected by the loss of his best friend. His owners became very concerned, as Banksy became depressed and spent most of his time sleeping.
They decided that adding a new dog to the family might be the answer. Enter Mochi, an adorable fluffball from Jindo Love Rescue, an organization that saves and adopts out dogs from the Korean dog meat trade.
Mochi also just happens to look like a miniature version of Hamilton! After a successful introduction, Banksy and Mochi have become inseparable, sharing everything from toys to walks to Puppuccino drinks side by side.
Watch the adorable video from The Dodo below. You can also follow the adventures of Banksy and Mochi (with their new friend Bowie) on their Instagram account!