LOS ANGELES, CA, UNITED STATES, June 11, 2021 /EINPresswire.com/ — When looking at the makeup of American families today, it’s rare to see a home where a pet isn’t part of the family. According to the most recent data from the APPA National Pet Owners Survey, 67% of households—or around 85 million homes—own a pet. Of these households, dogs and cats top the list of most popular pets, with 63 million and 43 million households owning dogs and cats, respectively.
In exploring the history of animal shelters and rescue organizations in the country, nothing proves as problematic as the lack of a centralized reporting system to collect data on these organizations. Most of the shelter statistics that are available and accepted today are estimates based on several period surveys, including the aforementioned APPA National Pet Owners Survey along with the AVMA U.S. Pet Ownership & Demographics Sourcebook. Without a nationally codified and streamlined process for collecting, organizing, and reporting on shelter data, there has been a grave lack of transparency around the country’s shelters. That makes it difficult not only to pinpoint accurate statistics regarding sheltered animals in America but also to understand the true state of animal welfare in the country, which is the first step to improving that welfare.
Luckily, there has been an increasingly concerted effort by animal welfare organizations and animal shelters across the country to change the lack of comprehensive and reliable data available regarding U.S. animal shelters. Besides more and more shelters voluntarily providing data through self-reporting, there has been a rise in organizations aiming to boost data transparency in…
1. Most animals enter shelters as strays
While many animals end up at shelters after being relinquished by their owners, twice as many animals still come into shelters as strays rather than house pets that owners willingly surrendered. Based on the available figures, it’s estimated that there are around 70 million stray cats and dogs throughout the U.S.
2. The average age of shelter animals is pretty young
There is a common misconception that adopting an animal from a shelter means having to opt for an older animal. However, the average age of dogs given up to shelters is actually between five months and two years old, according to a report from the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals.
3. Owner surrender is a major driver of shelter populations
Many animals end up in shelters because of homelessness or situations of animal cruelty, but many pets are also surrendered to shelters by their owners. Based on data collected by Petfinder, some primary reasons for owner surrender of dogs include moving (7%), landlord disputes (6%), and unmanageable costs (5%). For owner surrender of cats, the leading reasons include too many pets in the house (11%), allergies (8%), and moving (8%).
4. Few states require shelters to report annual data
Despite the value that comprehensive data could provide in improving shelter operations and transparency, there’s an overwhelming lack of information due to the absence of a centralized reporting system for shelters. Only about 20% of states require shelters to report any kind of annual data at all, which is part of the reason there has been such a lack of readily available reliable information thus far.
5. It only takes eight minutes to pick a shelter animal
Although pet adoption is a commitment and requires several considerations before it should be undertaken, research shows that selecting a dog once you’re ready to adopt may be a pretty quick one. A study by the Journal of the International Society for Applied Ethology found that potential adopters decide whether to adopt a dog within about eight minutes of interacting with them.
Elizabeth Stanton has been a world traveler her entire life, experiencing the culture of Europe, the wonders of the Far East, and the natural beauty of remote destinations. She started hosting “Elizabeth Stanton’s Great Big World” at the age of 15, and it was watched in 90% of the United States at its peak and is the top-rated show on FOX affiliates nationwide. In the show, she travels the globe with her celebrity friends exploring other cultures, learning about history, and finding opportunities to help those in need, while shedding some light on what others less fortunate are dealing with. The show featured stars like Bailee Madison, Jake T. Austin, Gregg Sulkin, and Garrett Clayton, and filmed in places all over the world, from the USA to Nicaragua to Paris to Beijing. She continues to film new episodes of Great Big World, which has been running for nine years and this is now the 10th year in which it continues to remain strong.
Elizabeth is very passionate about giving back and is a supporter of Marines Toys for Tots Foundation, donating thousands of toys to the organization over the last few years. In addition, she has donated money earned from her show to the homeless men, women, and children of Los Angeles, ultimately helping to feed over 4000 families in Los Angeles for two months. Earlier this year, Elizabeth teamed with Buca Di Beppo to distribute 10,000 meals between Los Angeles and New York to healthcare frontline workers during the COVID-19 pandemic.
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