Sign In

Pet Population

July 3, 2020

Animal welfare groups say the pandemic is exacerbating the overpopulation crisis for cats and dogs.

According to Lisa Lange, senior vice president of communications with “People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals,” more than six million cats and dogs enter shelters in the U.S. each year. And with COVID-19 safety protocols in place, she explains shelters are unable to let people come in for pet adoptions, or host off-site adoption events.

“And yet there’s still a flow of animals coming in, made worse by people being out of a job,” says Lange. “So, we’re getting reports from around the country that people are giving up their animals because they can’t afford to keep them anymore.”

A Survey conducted before the pandemic estimated that 44% of Missouri pet owners struggle to afford their pets.

Lange says prevention is the best solution, and her group encourages spaying and neutering for cats and dogs. According to PETA, one female dog and her puppies can result in the births of 67,000 dogs in just six years.

Instead of purchasing a pet from a breeder, Lange urges Missourians to always adopt from animal shelters. Right now, many are holding appointment-based adoptions.

She notes a silver lining to the pandemic has been the uptick in people becoming pet foster parents, which takes pressure off the shelter system.

“Really, in the best of all possible worlds, shelters should have a small number of animals,” says Lange. “But we shouldn’t be seeing animals breeding anymore. We have far too many homeless animals, all of whom are deserving of good homes. But we need to bring that number down. ”

She adds that low-cost and free spay-and-neuter programs, often available through humane societies or veterinarians, are key to the overpopulation crisis. And she says people should encourage their local governments to subsidize these programs.

Register Your Dog

  • Most Recent News

    Izzy The Therapy Dog

    There is something different strolling the halls of schools in Moody this year and she’s soft, gentle and loves kids. Her name is Izzy and she is a two-year-old Goldendoodle, turned therapy dog. Her owner, Sgt. Ron Richardson, with the Moody Police Department, saw a video of a therapy dog being used in Cullman County […]

    Read more

    Animal Advocate

    Penny, a spaniel mix who works as a canine advocate for domestic violence victims through Crisis Center North, is nearing retirement. She was adopted from Action for Animals in Derry Township and attends court dates with victims to provide emotional support. But before she retires, she has one more job. She needs to train an […]

    Read more

    Dog Chow Campaign

    In honor of National Service Dog Awareness Month, Purina Dog Chow is launching its third annual “Service Dog Salute” campaign. A service dog can be life-changing in helping veterans with PTSD and other post-combat challenges. Unfortunately, due to the cost and time it takes to train a service dog, less than 1% of veterans in […]

    Read more

    Therapy Dog In School

    A Derry primary school this week welcomed a new member of staff – its very own therapy dog. Joy will be used to provide comfort and reassurance to pupils at St Oliver Plunkett Primary School after studies have shown that therapy dogs have a positive impact on children’s mood and behaviour. St Oliver Plunkett is […]

    Read more

    Polices Therapy Dog

    The Great Barrington police department is holding a swearing in ceremony Friday for its new therapy dog, Officer Beko. Beko is a 16-week old black lab and works with Officer Kris Balestro. Beko’s training, certification and care are funded by donations from the local community. Officer Beko is the first therapy dog to join a […]

    Read more

    BarkBox Launching Essentials

    If your dog loves to monitor your work when you’re cooking, generally gets underfoot the entire time and sees “taste tester” as their official title, these new dog toys may be essential in your kitchen. Starting Oct. 1, Bed, Bath & Beyond is introducing a new line, specifically tailored to your dog’s kitchen needs. In […]

    Read more