By Tiana Nelson
Passion has always been my foundation when it comes to animals. I have always hated people who abuse animals, I have always cried when I heard stories about animals in pain, I have always had a difficult time walking into a shelter and not wanting to come out with every animal.
However, facts are what have helped me take my passion to a new – arguably more rational level – in advocating and making a difference for animals.
It’s hard to hear statistics about Colorado euthanizing 40,000 animals a year – even harder when you think about that only being one state and that 3-4 million animals are euthanized annually in the United States, according to the Humane Society of the United States.
It’s even harder to watch a YouTube video of animals being euthanized, which I did for the first time about a week ago. I don’t think this is for everyone, but for me, it gave me peace in watching that with humane practices there is someone comforting the animal and that it is fast and overall painless.
While I am a huge supporter of no-kill shelters, there is also a place for kill shelters, which I will address in a blog post all of it’s own, but just know that any way you look at it, there are not enough homes for the 6-8 million animals in US shelters annually. There is no quality of life for dogs and cats to live in a cage for their entire life – they deserve so much better.
The problem is not euthanizing animals – it sadly has to happen because there are too many animals – the problem is people not spaying and neutering their pets, and the problem is breeders who irresponsibly make money off the demise of animals in shelters. Every time someone encourages breeders by purchasing a puppy, they are in-turn killing a puppy in a shelter.
I have many friends who have purchased their furry friends – and seven years ago, I did the same – but, knowing that there is an equally amazing dog in a shelter is the first step in creating a society that values animal rescue.
Some other facts to have in your back pocket:
– 25% of dogs in shelters are purebred! (See no breeder necessary – you can rescue a purebred!)
– 6-8 million dogs and cats enter shelters each year.
– 3-4 million dogs and cats are euthanized by shelters annually.
– 3-4 million dogs and cats are ADOPTED from shelters each year!
– There are about 3,500 animals shelters in the US.
Tiana Nelson is from Denver, Colo., and started the Doggie Avenger Blog with the goal of educating people and changing their perceptions about animals. When she began volunteering at a local animal shelter, it struck her that so many people were not actively aware of animal overpopulation. She hopes to change the lives of animals one-by-one through increasing awareness and encouraging people to always adopt — never buy from a breeder or pet store, to always spay and neuter their pets, to understand the depth of animal issues and to know why all of that is important. Tiana currently works in higher education, and in her free time enjoys traveling, running, volunteering with animals, spending time with her two pugs, and her family and friends.