A previous version of this article incorrectly stated that the entire line at BARC was waiting to surrender their animals and that these pets faced euthanasia, we have since clarified with clear statistics provided from Snopes in the post below.
With the Fourth of July weekend upon us, many are heading to the beach for the long weekend, getting ready to soak up the sun and enjoy time with friends and family. And it also seems that before the holiday weekend people are … dumping their dogs at the shelter. Wait, what!?
In a photo shared by Special Needs Animal Rescue and Rehabilitation (SNARR) on their Facebook page, there is a heartbreaking line outside of the Houston, Texas city shelter, Bureau of Animal Regulation and Care (BARC), with dozens of people lined up to surrender their dogs and cats.
The animals will certainly be sad and confused as to why their human is leaving them. The sad reality for surrendered animals is that even with nationwide efforts to enact low-cost vaccines and spay and neuter programs, shelters may be forced to euthanize due to overcrowding issues.
“This is one shelter, in one city, in one state across the country. Ask yourself how many of these dogs and cats will make it out alive. And how many will not,” SNARR said on Facebook. Sadly, many who commented on the photo said the exact same situation is happening in their city.
Since the original Facebook post was published, it has been clarified that around three-quarters of the people in the line pictured were there to return animals – be it ones they found as strays or surrenders by their owners.
According to reports from Snopes, 52 out of 211 animals that came through the shelter that day were specifically brought by their guardians to be surrendered.
Adopting an animal is a very serious, life-long commitment and unfortunately, some people jump into this without considering how much work caring for an animal actually is.
A representative from BARC shared that the euthanasia rate for dogs in this shelter was 19.6 percent in 2016. Accordingly, this does not mean that every dog returned faces certain death, and many do end up finding forever homes – but we just can’t understand how someone could willingly take an animal under their care only to return them, for reasons that could have been avoided or resolved, in good conscience knowing there is a chance that animal’s life could be ended.
Statistically speaking, half of all animals that arrive in U.S. shelters are euthanized due to lack of space and adopters, amounting to roughly 2.7 million dead animals every year or five out of every ten dogs and seven out of every ten cats. While we know this is distressing, it also serves as a reminder that we shouldn’t look away from the problem, and instead we should act.
Choosing to adopt an animal is a massive commitment and it should be taken just as seriously as adopting a child. Many people go into adoption without considering factors like the amount of attention and care animals need or they don’t factor in how their lifestyle changes may impact an animal – like changing apartments and finding that the landlord doesn’t allow pets.
Before you commit to adopting an animal, please consider all eventualities. For more tips to help you decide if you can adopt, click here.
If you already have a fur-baby, please always spay and neuter your pets and urge your friends and family to do the same. Fostering an animal is also a great way to help end the pet homelessness crisis.
Regardless if you open up your home to a dog, cat, bird, small pets, pig, any pet, you can feel wonderful knowing you have saved a life and cared for a pet who will soon find his or her forever home. For more ways on how you can get involved to help save animals, click here. Together, we can end pet homelessness!
Image source: Special Needs Animal Rescue and Rehabilitation (SNARR)/Facebook