North Carolina’s current poor record of killing cats and dogs at shelters

North Carolina's poor animal shelter kill rates
Sunrise over Appalachian Mountains in Autumn Great Smoky Mountains National Park. Photo in public domain on my reckoning.
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North Carolina (NC) currently has a relatively poor record of killing cats and dogs at their animal shelters. In other words their shelters have a higher kill rate than all other states bar two: California and Texas. This means that they have either (1) more unwanted companion animals than in most other states and facilities which are unable to fully deal with the issue or (2) they have poorer methods to minimise killing unwanted cats and dogs at their shelters. It is unlikely that there are more cats and dogs in NC with terminal illnesses and/or intractable behavioural problems than in other states.

The figures for 2018 according to Best Friends Animal Society for North Carolina are: 246,000 cats and dogs entered shelters and 55,900 were killed while 167,000 survived (23% of animals were killed).

There is a big problem with statistics like this though. Are they truly accurate? I ask because Best Friends’ study says that across America 733,000 cats and dogs were killed at shelters in 2018. Yet ASPCA say that:

“Each year, approximately 1.5 million shelter animals are euthanized (670,000 dogs and 860,000 cats). These estimates are based in part on Shelter Animals Count data and other known and estimated sources, 2015-2018.”

That is more than double the Best Friends’ figures. Admittedly the numbers are estimates but they do go up to 2018.

You see the problem? Accuracy is the problem or the lack of it. There is a need for more precision in reporting euthanasia rates at shelters.

And it would be nice to know the cause of the relatively poor NC numbers. Ultimately it will come down to attitude. The attitude of pet owners and shelter managers. Where there is a will there is a way. That’s the old adage.

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