Almost 4 percent of all cats and dogs in Australia are euthanised as unwanted. As a percentage of the total numbers this is 2.3 times greater than in America. It is a shocking figure because there is a lot of discussion on how to save the lives of healthy cats and dogs in America but very little discussion about the substantially worse state of affairs in Australia.
Before I set out the figures and sources – which I readily accept are open to discussion – it is interesting to report that the total cat population in Australia has decreased from 3.2 million in 1989 to 2.6 million in 2000. That is a drop of almost 20%. Whereas the dog population on Australia as risen from 3.6 million (in 1994) to 4 million in 2000.
Number of cats and dogs in Australia: 6.6 million.
Number of cats and dogs destroyed because there are not enough homes (i.e. euthanised healthy cats and dogs): more than 250,000 (a 0.25 million).
Percentage of destroyed cats and dogs to overall Australian population: (0.25/6.6)100 = 3.787% (or, as stated almost 4 percent).
Number of cats and dogs in America (in homes): 179 million
Number of “adoptable cats and dogs euthanised in shelters” each year (at 2012-13): 2.7 million.
Percentage of destroyed cats and dogs to overall American cat and dog population: (2.7/179)100 = 1.508%.
Of course the big question mark is, are the numbers accurate? There must be a bit, or a lot, of estimating going on because there are no hard statistics. People in either country don’t care enough to put the work in to create hard statistics.
We don’t have a breakdown between cats and dogs. The administration in Australia has been hostile towards the cat for years. This is probably the reason behind the reduction in overall numbers.
- Destroyed cats/dogs Australia: Sydney Morning Herald
- Number cats/dogs Australia: Centre for Companion Animals in the Community
- Destroyed cats/dogs and total numbers America: The Humane Society of the United States.