Pandemic Renews Concerns About Pet Population
Friday, July 3, 2020
JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. - Animal welfare groups say the pandemic is exacerbating the overpopulation crisis for cats and dogs.
According to Lisa Lange, senior vice president of communications with "People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals," more than six million cats and dogs enter shelters in the U.S. each year. And with COVID-19 safety protocols in place, she explains shelters are unable to let people come in for pet adoptions, or host off-site adoption events.
"And yet there's still a flow of animals coming in, made worse by people being out of a job," says Lange. "So, we're getting reports from around the country that people are giving up their animals because they can't afford to keep them anymore."
A survey conducted before the pandemic estimated that 44% of Missouri pet owners struggle to afford their pets.
Lange says prevention is the best solution, and her group encourages spaying and neutering for cats and dogs. According to PETA, one female dog and her puppies can result in the births of 67,000 dogs in just six years.
Instead of purchasing a pet from a breeder, Lange urges Missourians to always adopt from animal shelters. Right now, many are holding appointment-based adoptions.
She notes a silver lining to the pandemic has been the uptick in people becoming pet foster parents, which takes pressure off the shelter system.
"Really, in the best of all possible worlds, shelters should have a small number of animals," says Lange. "But we shouldn't be seeing animals breeding anymore. We have far too many homeless animals, all of whom are deserving of good homes. But we need to bring that number down. "
She adds that low-cost and free spay-and-neuter programs, often available through humane societies or veterinarians, are key to the overpopulation crisis. And she says people should encourage their local governments to subsidize these programs.
get more stories like this via email
LANSING, Mich. - High utility costs are a major burden for Michigan's low-income residents, and a new study says they have an impact on their health…
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. - A new report shows an effort by investor-owned utilities in the Sunshine State to block the growth of rooftop solar. The …
Health and Wellness
By Troy Pierson / Broadcast version by Mary Schuermann reporting for the Kent State-Ohio News Connection Collaboration. As marijuana becomes more …
SALT LAKE CITY - With rising numbers of people targeted in hate crimes and related violence, a new report analyzes the hate-crime laws in each state…
BOSTON - Educators' unions are calling on the state to support their efforts to ensure in-person learning in the fall keeps students, teachers…
HARTFORD, Conn. - In Connecticut, more than 460,000 people care for close friends or family members who can't manage on their own - and their …
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. - Millions of Americans soon could find eviction notices on their front doors, but New Mexico renters will not be among them - as …
Health and Wellness
CONCORD, N.H. - New Hampshire advocates for affordable healthcare access want Congress to lower prescription costs by allowing Medicare to negotiate …