Just a quick note to ask if anyone who knows whether there has been a steady decline in the number of relinquished or abandoned pets because of the upturn in the American economy.
My research indicates that there has been no real decline in relinquishments but as far as Los Angeles Animal Services are concerned there has been an improvement in their efforts to find adopters, which has resulted in less euthanasia. I refer to Los Angeles Animal Services because they keep current figures.
Back in 2008 there were lots of reports in both the US and UK press about the rising number of home foreclosures and in line with that the rising number of unwanted pets across the USA.
For example, in Los Angeles animal shelters were reporting that in 2008 there was a 21% increase in the number of residents who cited moving home or their landlord (forced to rent from a landlord) as reasons for giving up their animals.
The USA economy is projected to grow by 2.8% in 2014. In 2013 growth was 1.9%. So the US economy is doing all right and therefore shouldn’t we expect there to be less unwanted cats?
It is difficult to find recent figures on companion animals held at shelters and euthanised. The most recent figures I can find concern Los Angeles city animal shelters listed in an examiner.com article which states that between July 2009 in June 2010, 19,460 dogs and cats were killed, while between July 2011 and June 2012, 21,619 cats and dogs were killed. The numbers of unwanted pets was still rising as late as June 2012.
The Los Angeles city animal shelter figures that I present above do not follow the trend of the economic figures. You have to conclude, therefore, that the financial crash appears to have been an excuse to relinquish unwanted pets. That may be the case partly but having discovered recent figures there has been a turnaround.
Los Angeles Animal Services statistics for the number of animals euthanised for July 2013 to March 2014 shows a consistent decline. Can we put this down to less abandoned cats and dogs?
I don’t think we can. The figures indicate that the LA Animals Services are doing a better job at rehoming cats and dogs (see figures above).
- USA GDP: http://www.leftfootforward.org/
- Shelter stats: LA Animal Services