Dog Overpopulation: Do the Math

On a recent Facebook list I made the statement that 80% of dogs taken to shelters (excluding strays that are returned to their owners – the actual purpose of a county “pound”.)  don’t survive. That is because about 80% of all dogs born each year do not see their first birthday. If they did, we’d have over billion dogs in this country – but we don’t. If you think my numbers are wrong, let’s use that trite cliché , do the math, and see what we come up with. Before we get started, the SPCA says there are 7.5 million animals of all types taken to shelters each year. That equates to about 5% of the total number of animals in this country. That means that all the billions spent on municipal and private shelters only covers 5% of the total population – if you believe the humane groups. If only 5% are at risk, that means that 95% aren’t. In even totalitarian societies, 95% compliance with any directive is about as good as you can get. Both Soviet Russia and Red Communist China tried to ban pet sales and ownership with punishments up to death. It didn’t work in either country. Meaning if we have 95% compliance in a free society, a humane “movement” is no longer necessary. But I digress…

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Untruth in Numbers: Why current pet overpopulation numbers may be unreliable

Note: This was first published as a feature article in DogFancy magazine.

If you are an animal lover, there is a good chance that you are on the mailing list of at least one animal welfare group. Periodically you probably receive a form letter from an organization that wants you to help stop pet overpopulation. The computer-generated letter includes a personalized greeting, a simulation of the spokesperson’s signature, pictures of either adorable puppies and kittens or abused, emaciated dogs and cats – and lots of statistics. The obvious purpose of the photographs is to gain your sympathy. The statistics are there to prove that there is a real problem with animal overpopulation and that this particular group is the one most worthy of your support. Your generous donation will help these nice people solve the overpopulation problem and help the animals – or will it?

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