Monday, August 29, 2011

Stop the Killing – Numbers

Between 1940 and 1945, the Nazis murdered 4 million people, less than 1 million deaths per year.
[Plaque at Auschwitz]

Since many shelters are not required to keep track of their numbers in regards to intake, adoption, returned to owner, and killed, any statistic concerning shelter animals is a best guess.

The number of companion animals entering US shelters each year is estimated to be between 6 and 8 million. The number of animals killed in shelters each year is estimated to be 64% - some shelters have lower rates, some have higher rates.

The 64% is an estimation based on a study done in 1997 with input from 1000 shelters (there are an estimated 4000 to 6000 shelters in the United States). It is very likely the nationwide kill rate is higher.

Using these estimated numbers, between 3.8 and 5.1 million cats and dogs are killed in shelters EACH year, EVERY year.

Assuming a mid-point of 4.5 million cats and dogs killed in shelters each year, this averages out to:

Each Month – 375,000 cats and dogs killed

Each Week – 86,538.5 cats and dogs killed

Each Day – 12,328.8 cats and dogs killed

Each Hour – 513.7 cats and dogs killed

Each Minute – 8.6 cats and dogs killed

Sadly enough, this does not include the cats and dogs that die in shelters from starvation, illness or abuse. It does not include those that mysteriously disappear from shelters never to be seen again.



Gas Chambers

Injection or Heartstick

Video: This Can't Be Happening

Those killed include the unborn, days old, unweaned, less than 1 year of age, seniors, and adults.

Those killed include perfectly healthy and perfectly adoptable animals.

Those killed include those whose only crime is their breed (actual or assumed) or their color.

Those killed include those surrendered by their owners (usually no hold period), lost and unclaimed, seized in criminal or cruelty cases, and strays.

Those killed include those with an easily cured illness, such as a cold or kennel cough.

Those killed include those who fail their temperament test, even when the test is improperly administered and interpreted.

Those killed include those who fail their temperament test due to fear, anxiety, and/or stress.

Some shelters cremate. Many don’t.

Coming next: Stop the Killing – Part 2: The Causes