Polling for the Life of Pets

A recent poll suggests that pet owners favor no-kill policies in animal shelters. How should shelters deal with the over-population?


If you do not subscribe to Daily News paper, it is not likely you read the recent article titled “Poll:  Support of euthanasia for pets falls” or my response to the article, which Daily News published.  Here are both links, should you be inclined to understand what I am writing about:


The article:  http://www.dailynews.com/news/ci_19684838#.Twy83UmaVId 

My response:  http://www.dailynews.com/news/ci_19707579?source=rss#.Tw4cR6FpljV

From the title of the article, you can get the gist that it has to do with “euthanasia” policies in our animal shelters.  This article was based on a poll that was taken in which some people were asked whether they thought it was okay for shelters to euthanize adoptable animals as a means of controlling the population in shelters; whether they believed only non-remedial sick or aggressive animals should be put down; or whether shelters, everywhere, should strive to become “no-kill” like many have done already.

The majority of those polled would be supportive of no-kill policies and believe shelters “should only euthanize animals that are untreatable or too aggressive…”  I wonder how many of you are aware that, presently, the majority of animal shelters in Los Angeles city and county are not no-kill, and that on a daily basis, many young, healthy, adoptable pets are put down for time and space. 

I have spoken to way too many people who claim they do not have time to care for their pet, they are moving to an apartment that does not allow pets, they are expecting a baby, etc. and think that their pet is so cute and sweet that if they take it to a shelter, someone will immediately fall in love with it and adopt it.  Alternatively, they think that shelter employees and volunteers have nothing but time on their hands to exercise their dog, make sure it does not get sick, and try to find it a home where it will be treated as a family member and not just tossed in a yard.  News flash, or should I say Statistics flash – in 2011, there were 19,596 adoptions of dogs and cats and 23,012 dogs and cats (including unweaned) were “euthanized.”  http://www.laanimalservices.com/PDF/reports/CatNDogIntakeNOutcomes.pdf

It is time that everyone, whether you love animals or not, face the facts that innocent, loyal, loving pets are losing their lives because irresponsible people treat them as disposable items, breed them for income and then abandon them when they get old, or they do not devote any time to try to find a loving home for them. 

This is not a poll, but if you read the Daily News article, my response to it, and if you find the number of animals euthanized in our shelters to be incomprehensible, please comment and share your life-saving ideas. 

"Saving one pet won’t change the world, but surely, the world will change for that one pet."  [Author unknown]


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Gina January 14, 2012 at 06:01 PM
Amen to what you are saying and for statistics that you provided. I do my share to circulate animals on Facebook for sponsor, foster or adoption. So many beautiful animals in shelters that are turned in with such blatant disregard. Networking these animals literally saves their lives and transforms the lives of those that take care of these animals.
Barbara Brady January 14, 2012 at 07:03 PM
Barkworks Pet Store on the Westside will stop selling puppies from puppy mills and will begin, in March, to offer rescues from public shelters. If the concept works, they will do the same in all of their stores. Another way to save these abandoned pets.
Sherry "Pawnuts" Brewer January 16, 2012 at 05:35 AM
In case you haven't heard, a fairly new non-profit group, Friends of Los Angeles Shelters, has become affiliated with Los Angeles Animal Services and opened a pet store called L.A. Love & Leashes. This store is also in the Westfield Pavilion, two floors down from Barkworks. The adoptable dogs and cats will be brought to the store from the West L.A. shelter every day except Tuesday. The store was opened for a while during the holidays and it was very successful with its adoptions. The Grand Opening is this Saturday. FYI, L.A. Love & Leashes will be run by volunteers. Come by on Saturday and see all the adorable pets.
Jamie Linton June 26, 2012 at 06:44 PM
The statistics you provided for Los Angeles are similar to those in the United States, but when you consider the entire country the numbers are staggering. The ASPCA website says that between 5 and 7 million companion animals enter shelters each year and approximately 3 to 4 million of them are euthanized (60 percent of dogs and 70 percent of cats). Finding homes for 3 to 4 million animals, although a laudable goal, feels out of reach. At least part of the solution needs to go back to the source. Spay and neuter should not be optional, breeding companion animals should cease, and people must be educated to "think adoption first." Now if I only knew how to make all of that happen...


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