THE HARSH REALITY
Euthanasia is the single largest cause of death for dogs and cats in the U.S. Nearly seven million healthy animals are killed in pounds every year. Millions more homeless cats and dogs struggle to survive on their own outdoors, where they suffer from abuse, starvation, disease, freezing, highway death, or procurement for laboratories.
The problem is simple
— we have too many dogs and cats. There are not enough loving homes for them all. You can help end the needless suffering and death by making sure that your companion animal does not contribute to the overpopulation crisis.
Having your dog or cat spayed or neutered by a veterinarian is the first, most important step you can take as a responsible guardian. Individuals who let their dog or cat have "just one litter" — however well intentioned they may be
— contribute to the severe dog and cat overpopulation crisis. Every newborn puppy or kitten means one less home for a dog or cat desperately waiting in a shelter or roaming the streets.
Purchasing dogs and cats from pet stores and breeders
— instead of adopting companions from shelters
— perpetuates the overpopulation problem as it encourage breeders to continue to bring more puppies and kittens into the world, taking homes away from animals in shelters. Nationally, fewer than twenty percent of companion dogs and cats were adopted from a shelter or rescue group.
As long as there are not enough homes for them all, any animal added to the population
— for whatever reason
— helps increase companion animal overpopulation and contribute to the euthanasia of massive numbers of animals in shelters.
- Hidden Holocaust: The Overpopulation Crisis
Millions of healthy animals are killed in U.S. pounds and shelters every year.
The killing could easily be prevented by spaying and neutering.
- The Crisis of Pet Overpopulation
Every day in the United States thousands upon thousands of puppies and kittens are born because of the uncontrolled breeding of pets. Add to that number the offspring of stray and abandoned companion animals, and the total becomes even more staggering.
- Solving the Pet Overpopulation Problem
Only by spaying and neutering all companion animals will we get a handle on
- Why You Should Spay or Neuter Your Pet
Spaying or neutering is good for your pet, for you & for the community. Not only do spaying and neutering prevent overpopulation, studies show spayed and neutered animals live longer, healthier lives with fewer medical and behavioral problems.
- Myths and Facts About Spaying and Neutering
A host of myths surrounds spaying and neutering. These misconceptions often discourage people from having the surgery performed on their companion animals.
HOW YOU CAN HELP
If you want to help suffering companion animals in your community, adopt a homeless animal from a shelter or rescue group,
where there are always wonderful selections of mixed-breed and purebred pets waiting for good homes. Be sure to have your new companion spayed or neutered. Other ways you can help animals include:
- Encouraging people to spay and neuter their companion animals.
- Supporting progressive legislation that benefits animals.
- Reporting incidents of cruelty and neglect to your local authorities.
In Athens, contact
Athens-Clarke County Animal Control.
- Volunteering your time and talents to a local animal shelter or rescue group.
Your volunteer hours can make a difference, both immediate and long-term,
to thousands of dogs and cats. Whether you walk dogs at your shelter, stuff envelopes for an educational mailing or assist with a fund-raising event, you
can make a difference in the lives of animals.
Photos and descriptions of adoptable dogs at Athens-Clarke County Animal Control
- Athens Area Humane Society
Strives to provide safe shelter, to locate loving homes for homeless and abandoned animals, and to end animal neglect, cruelty, and suffering.
- Athens Canine Rescue
A non-profit, all-volunteer network of foster homes with many adoptable dogs.
- Campus Cats
An all-volunteer organization working to humanely reduce the number of feral cats on the UGA campus through TNR (trapping, neuter/spay, and return), kitten adoption, and care and feeding of adult cats.
- Helping Paws Rescue
The Helping Paws program at Petropolis (a pet boarding & daycare center) provides a home for abandoned dogs and cats until they are adopted by new families.
- Pet Assistance & Welfare Society of Athens
PAWS helps elderly, low-income, and physically or mentally challenged pet owners spay and neuter their pets to reduce euthanasia and shelter overcrowding.
- Critter Magazine — Athens
An animal adoption publication dedicated to finding loving homes for animals in need.
- Athens Dog
A complete guide to caring for your dog in Athens, Georgia.