As ISAR’s many supporters know, addressing the scourge of dog and cat overpopulation is one of our major programs. We have been fighting that problem for decades, and although ISAR and other organizations have been making some progress—mandatory spay/neuter, prohibitions on retail sales, crackdowns on puppy mills—still the cycle of birth-suffering-death goes on unabated: too many shelters do an incompetent job of obtaining adoptions; spay/neuter programs, if they exist at all, are ridden with exemptions; dogs and cats continue to breed (and be bred!). And as they multiply endlessly, the dead bodies of their predecessors go up in smoke, literally.
It has been estimated that at least 70,000 puppies and kitties are born in the United States every day. Many are born into households whose members cannot provide for them, or mistakenly believe they can but later learn otherwise and relinquish the animals. For decades most shelters have been at capacity, with routine ever-ending euthanasia the rule rather than the exception. Indeed, the Humane Society of the United States has reported that between six and eight million dogs and cats enter shelters each year, and over half of them are euthanized.
The literature and statistics on dog and cat overpopulation is copious . . . and often discouraging. But ISAR isn’t discouraged. To the contrary, we will continue to work for the day when dog and cat overpopulation is a distant memory—as we have for decades past.