Most people cannot resist the precious faces of kittens and puppies. Many get them on impulse, many don't realize they are lifelong committments, many don't realize what happens when they "dump" their animals at shelters because they no longer fit into their lifestyles.
That puppy you just bought will most likely end up in my shelter when it's not a cute little puppy anymore. Just so you know there's a 90% chance that dog will never walk out of the shelter it’s dumped at? Purebred or not! About 25% of all of the dogs that are "owner surrenders" or "strays", that come into a shelter are purebred dogs.
The most common excuses: "We are moving and we can't take our dog (or cat)." Really? Or they may say "The dog got bigger than we thought it would". How big did you think a German Shepherd would get? "We don't have time for her". Really? Why didn't you think of that in the first place. "He's tearing up our yard". How about making her a part of your family? They always tell me "We just don't want to have to stress about finding a place for her we know she'll get adopted, she's a good dog".
Odds are your pet won't get adopted & how stressful do you think being in a shelter is? Most shelters across the country have an allotted time frame for owner relinquishes to find a new family from the moment you drop it off (some shelters may even euthanize the minute you walk out the door).
Sometimes that cute little puppy you adopted may get a few extra days if the shelter isn't full and your dog manages to healthy. Your pet will be confined to a run/kennel in a room with other barking or crying animals. It will have to relieve itself where it eats and sleeps. It will be depressed and it will cry constantly for the family that abandoned it. If your pet is lucky, the shelter may have enough volunteers that day to take him/her for a walk and show them some love and attention. If they don't, your pet won't get any attention besides having a bowl of food slid under the kennel door and the waste sprayed out of its pen with a high-powered hose.
If your dog is big, black or any of the "Bully" breeds it may in some shelters be pretty much considered a "dead dog walking" when you walked it through the front door. Those dogs just don't get adopted. It doesn't matter how 'sweet' or 'well behaved' they are.
If your dog doesn't get adopted within their allotted time frame and the shelter is full, it will be destroyed. If the shelter isn't full and your dog is good enough, it may get a stay of execution, but not for long . Most dogs get very kennel protective after about a week and are destroyed for showing aggression.
Even the sweetest dogs will turn in this environment.
If your pet makes it over all of those hurdles chances are it will get kennel cough or an upper respiratory infection and may be destroyed because alot of shelters don't have the funds to have these pets seen by a vet.
Estimated number of cats and dogs entering shelters each year:
6-8 million (HSUS estimate)
Estimated number of cats and dogs euthanized by shelters each year:
3-4 million (HSUS estimate)
Estimated number of cats and dogs adopted from shelters each year:
3-4 million (HSUS estimate)
Estimated number of cats and dogs reclaimed by owners from shelters each year:
30 percent of dogs and 2-5 percent of cats entering shelters (HSUS estimate)
Estimated number of animal shelters in the United States:
3,500 (HSUS estimate)
Estimated percent of dogs in shelters who are purebred:
25 percent (HSUS estimate)
Unless otherwise indicated, statistics provided by The National Council on Pet Population, Study and Policy.