We are doing our best to continue to learn and plow forward toward helping propose incremental solutions to the animal euthanasia problem, so we wanted to discuss in this page our current conclusion that in order to save animals we need a holistic solution that encompasses spaying and neutering, education, rescue and fostering, legislation reform, and cruelty prevention. We need to do all of the above.
This means that although all animal rescuers decide to focus more of their time on certain elements of the solution, none are inherently in conflict with each other and they all need to work together to advance the cause for animal rights.
Interestingly, over the past 40 years, dog and cat euthanasia has dropped 80% from 20mm to 4mm due to the efforts of animal activists and rescuers in this country. This has happened even as the pet population has tripled and is largely attributable to the focus on spaying and neutering.
We have made a lot of progress as a country but we still have a long way to go. One piece of the puzzle that is extremely important is education and it is not talked about enough. When we brought Maverick into our family we had no idea how many dogs and cats were put to sleep each year. I would not have guessed the right number within millions. We feel pretty stupid now and like to think that with the amount of information on the internet today that we would have rescued a dog then.
We hear people talk about breeding their dogs all the time because they love their dogs so much. This makes intuitive sense because most people do not understand that there is a huge overpopulation of dogs. This is why education on all these topics is paramount.
Spaying and neutering is vital to matching the pet population to the number of interested families but rescues are helping close the gap faster by pushing tons of people from purchasing pets to adopting them. These groups are also saving millions of dogs that would otherwise be put to sleep while we wait for for spaying and neutering advances. The reality is that we need an all of the above approach, as each of these efforts is vital to a long-term solution. The good news is there are more animal rights activists and rescues by the day pushing forward on each of these issues.