45% reduction in animals euthanized at US shelters


In the United States of America, according to the ASPCA, there has been a 45% reduction in the number of shelter animals euthanized over the period 2011 to 2016.

I think this is an enormous success and it needs to be shouted from the rooftops. The actual numbers which are estimates are:

In 2011 2.7 of 7.2 million animals entering American shelters were euthanised while in 2016 1.5 of 6.5 million animals entering shelters were euthanised. Note: the drop in shelter animals as well.

The figures come from the work of top experts in the field of statistics relating to animal health.

This impressive drop in euthanasia rates is put down to:

  • More open adoption policies (my comment: I’m not completely sure what this means but I suspect it means that shelters are devising better methods to facilitate the adoption of their animals and devising new methods to achieve higher adoption rates including being more acccepting of less than perfect adopters).
  • Taking a more “conversation-based approach”. I don’t know what this means to be perfectly honest. It would seem to mean a more flexible approach supported by a “can-do” attitude.
  • An increased public awareness that it is a good idea to adopt a shelter cat or dog as they make great pets.
  • An increase in the number of people who view their companion animal as a family member.
  • The growing availability of affordable spay and neuter services in some parts of America.
  • Increased use of micro-chipping.

It is fantastic to see a gradual whittling away of euthanasia rates in American animal shelters. When the numbers are so large by which I mean in the millions it is easy to become blasé about each life that is being saved. We have to praise the managers and volunteers who strive to minimise euthanasia rates and find new homes for unwanted animals.

The math:

100 – (1.5/2.7 X 100)

The source:

ASPCA website. I interpreted the figures in a different way.

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1 thought on “45% reduction in animals euthanized at US shelters”

  1. Even if the numbers are estimates, any reduction in euthansia rates is fantastic news. I agree, we owe a debt of thanks to those who worked so hard to make this happen.

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