How Many Dogs Are Euthanized Each Year In The Us – We’ve previously written ( here and here ) about the high rate at which animal welfare organization People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) euthanizes the animals it takes in at its animal “shelter” in Norfolk, Virginia. All public and private animal shelters and other animal release agencies in the Commonwealth of Virginia are required to submit an annual livestock accounting summary to the Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services (VDACS). PETA’s 2020 report, recently filed with VDACS, shows that PETA’s euthanasia rate continues to exceed the average rate at which other Virginia shelters euthanize animals.
The first two charts below were created based on data provided by PETA in its 2019 and 2020 annual reports, which are maintained by VDACS and are publicly available on the agency’s website. The report format requires the shelter to quantify the different animals it has taken into care during a calendar year and report what happened to them by group.
How Many Dogs Are Euthanized Each Year In The Us
As the chart below shows, PETA continues to euthanize the majority of dogs and cats taken into custody.
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Additionally, PETA’s 2020 euthanasia rates for dogs, cats, dogs and cats combined, and all animals combined show little change from 2019 and continue to range from 57 to 73 percent:
More alarmingly, the rate at which PETA euthanized dogs and cats in 2020 far exceeded the rate at which other shelters euthanized dogs and cats in 2020 in Virginia. the following three charts compare PETA’s 2020 euthanasia rates for dogs, cats, and dogs and cats combined with the 2020 euthanasia rates for private shelters, public shelters, and all agencies combined in Virginia. The percentage was calculated from the data VDACS reports on its website.
Coinciding with PETA’s 2020 VDACS report, a leading producer of online news content for PETA attempted to defend PETA’s high death rate in an op-ed for
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Titled “What PETA Says About Animals Euthanized at Their Shelter.” This article largely rehashed arguments we analyzed last November and found unpersuasive, including PETA’s attempts to defend its euthanasia statistics with several examples of animals with terminal illnesses beyond veterinary care or with personality problems that make adoption impossible. No one could seriously dispute that euthanasia was the appropriate humane outcome for the examples PETA chose to rely on. But these are just a few of the thousands of dogs and cats euthanized by PETA. And are these carefully selected examples really representative of the typical dogs or cats that PETA writes about?
The article claims that the number of animals killed by PETA in 2020 — 1,763 — is “about 7%” of the “more than 26,000 animals PETA helped in 2020.” But PETA doesn’t really explain what falls under the category of “service animals,” and “service animals” isn’t an appropriate comparison. A relevant point of comparison is the fact that in 2020, PETA took in 2,650 animals and euthanized 67% of them (1,763). Was every animal that PETA killed terminally ill or completely unacceptable? PETA isn’t saying. PETA also offers no real explanation as to why its euthanasia rate is dramatically higher than that of other Virginia pubs, many of which are open admission, PETA claims.
Interestingly, a recent article in Newsweek confirmed the claim made in a series of tweets that PETA is responsible for the deaths of thousands of animals.
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The article claims that PETA has “nothing to hide,” then PETA should publicly state whether each of the 1,763 animals it euthanized in 2020 was beyond the scope of medical care and suffered needlessly, or was unacceptable. If so, PETA can certainly tell. If it isn’t, then PETA needs to explain why this isn’t the “needless killing” that PETA claims to be against.
Duane Morris attorneys share insights from decades of experience representing companies and institutions that represent or use animals or animal products. DALLAS — When a lost, stray or abandoned animal walked into an animal shelter in one American city 10 years ago, there was a good chance it wasn’t going to leave.
But in a quiet transformation, pet euthanasia rates have plummeted in major cities in recent years, falling by more than 75 percent since 2009. Rescue, adoption or return to an owner or community is now a much more likely outcome, a shift that experts say has occurred across the country.
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The New York Times collected data from urban shelters in 20 of the nation’s largest cities, including two in the Los Angeles metro area. Many shelters do not continuously track results or make historical data available online. Until recently, there was no concerted national effort to standardize and compile asylum records.
One reason is the lack of data: what they provide is confidential. Even at the best shelters, workers face criticism, even death threats, for euthanizing animals.
“We all agree that even one euthanasia is too many,” said Inga Fricke, the new director of conservation initiatives at the Humane Society of the United States. She supports greater data transparency, but she believes many shelters face unrealistic expectations. They also operate with varying levels of political and public support.
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“Shelters should not be judged for their numbers when they are really doing the best they can,” she said.
Part of the problem is that most city shelters are “open access,” meaning they are required to accept any animal regardless of its health or behavior (many private shelters and rescue groups only accept animals that are more likely to all will be adopted).
For example, in 2015, the shelter system in New York City found itself with 176 sick and injured pet rabbits that one woman kept in a vacant lot in Gowanus, Brooklyn. “We bring in all these rabbits,” said Risa Weinstock, the shelter’s director, “and then we have to start figuring out – where are these rabbits going?” (Most were rescued and adopted.)
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For most of its history, the city’s animal control department swept stray dogs off the streets, corralled them, and euthanized them. (This was not necessarily callousness; there was a well-founded fear of madness).
In the mid-1800s, New York adopted a policy of drowning unregistered stray dogs. A report from Philadelphia described a notorious dog catcher who engaged in “cruel killing of captured animals with clubs” before a shelter was established to euthanize animals using gas chambers.
In the 1970s, the Humane Society estimated that 25 percent of the nation’s dogs were on the streets and 13.5 million animals were euthanized in shelters each year (some say the number is much higher). In 1971, the Los Angeles shelter alone euthanized more than 110,000 animals, an average of 300 animals per day.
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Since then, a great deal of activism, the professionalization of the industry, and a shift in cultural attitudes have helped reduce euthanasia to less than two million animals in shelters each year. In 2018, the Los Angeles City Shelter euthanized an average of 10 animals per day, less than 10 percent of its intake.
“They are family members on four legs,” said Richard Avanzino, a longtime activist known as the father of the no-kill movement. “Society no longer wants to say, ‘Well, there are too many animals and not enough houses.’
Animal welfare experts tend to agree that since the 1970s, the number of stray animals entering U.S. shelters has dropped dramatically — the result of successful pet sterilization efforts (remember Bob Barker’s sign?).
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A recent article in the journal Animals found that until about 2010, the decline in euthanasia in shelters was very closely related to the decline in consumption. After that, adoption helps reduce the euthanasia rate even more, the authors write.
Cindy Skidmore, a veterinarian, sterilizes a kitten at Dallas Animal Services. By… Ilana Panich-Linsman for The New York Times
“Rescuing an animal has become a badge of honor,” said Matt Bershadker, president and chief executive officer of the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals. “People are proud to go to dog parks and walk around their neighborhoods talking about the animal they rescued from the shelter.”
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Many rescued animals are brought north from southern states where euthanasia rates are higher. A.S.P.C.A. in 2018 alone, it relocated 40,000 animals.
Most shelters in this analysis also continue to reduce the number of animals they take in. One factor is spaying and neutering programs and releasing cats from the community. There has also been an increase in programs to help people deal with problems — such as disputes with landlords and unaffordable veterinary care — that might otherwise force them to give up their pets.
These trends reflect the professionalization of the housing industry. Its members participate in conferences and have their own journal and veterinary specialty. Shelters are increasingly using data to direct their resources and they