Shelter Euthanasia Rates Drop with Increases in Spay/Neuter and Adoptions

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!


A Superhero for Street Cats

There are many caring animal lovers who work hard to help the homeless cats in their communities, but one little boy in Philadelphia is a true superhero for cats!  A recent article in The Dodo brought a smile to a lot of people’s faces around the world when it went viral on social media.

A 5-year-old boy named Shon began caring for the street cats in his city when he was just 3, asking to accompany his aunts on their trips around town, feeding and helping multiple colonies of stray cats.  The women were hesitant at first, but to their surprise, Shon was a true “cat whisperer”—with even the most feral cats allowing him to approach and pet them.

Shon has graduated from pets and head scratches to helping the women serve treats, dry food, and water to the cats.  He also loves to dress up in superhero costumes, because “he said it makes him feel like a superhero for animals” …we couldn’t agree more!

Check out the full story on The Dodo’s website, including information on how you can follow (and help) Kolony Kats, the grassroots feral cat organization made famous by Shon!


Images:  Kolony Kats via The Dodo