Almost 4 percent of all cats and dogs euthanised in Australia because they are unwanted

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.


  1. Destroyed cats/dogs Australia: Sydney Morning Herald
  2. Number cats/dogs Australia: Centre for Companion Animals in the Community
  3. Destroyed cats/dogs and total numbers America: The Humane Society of the United States.

7 thoughts on “Almost 4 percent of all cats and dogs euthanised in Australia because they are unwanted”

  1. It is true indeed. Australia is far behind America. Luckily I see people rising their heads, opening eyes and ears. A LOT to be done. I believe one day the situation will improve. A lot of education needs to be delivered to people, and lots of other things. I wish humans had more respect to pets. Thanks for sharing the statistics.

  2. Absolutely shocking, is this because they’re so busy being laid back in the sun and having barbies on the beach that they just can’t be bothered with real life issues like neutering their pets and rehoming unwanted ones?

  3. This is terrible, the world is getting worse for unwanted animals, what is going on? I don’t understand why people don’t have their pets neutered or why so many relinquish or abandon them either and then just stand back and know they are likely to be killed.
    Where will it all end?

  4. as a close by neighbour in new Zealand i find that horrible and disturbing. if pet owners would just get their animals fixed it would solve alot of issues. I know in new zealand its prob just as bad. in the region i live in, alot of cats are rehomned. But its amazing year after year theres lots of kittens.

    • I had forgotten that you live in New Zealand. It is shocking for. Australia can do better. And I believe that the Australian government and local government could be more constructive with respect to cat ownership.


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