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The Sad Truth Behind Animal Shelters

December 01, 2013 5 min read

72 Hours to Euthanization

Your pet has 72 hours, from when you drop him, or her, off at an animal shelter to be adopted. After that, there is a 90% chance that the animal will be euthanized. If the dog is a puppy, it may get a stay of execution, but not for much longer. The more crowded the shelter is, the less time your dog or cat will stay alive to even be viewed for adoption, and have any chance at life.

8 Million Animals are Euthanized in Shelters Each Year

Because of overpopulation of animal shelters, 8 million animals are euthanized each year. There are just too many animals being dropped off at the shelter, or found abandoned on the streets, way more than are being adopted. The shelters cannot keep up with the number of animals and therefore have to put down hundreds of animals per day. If people who voluntarily dropped their dogs off at shelters knew the alarming rate of animals being put to death, they may think twice about how the animal just didn’t fit their lifestyle anymore.
The Sad Truth Behind Animal Shelters

Most People Only Adopt Puppies

The sad fact about animal shelters is that most people that come in to adopt are looking for puppies or kittens. There are not enough people to adopt the many dogs and cats that are turned into the shelter each day, as it is. Add that to the fact that only the babies are actually being adopted, you have way too many animals left over, and that’s just what they have become to society … leftovers to be thrown in the trash.
The Sad Truth Behind Animal Shelters

Big Dog Breeds Are Pretty Much Dead The Minute They Walk In

Big dog breeds, such as Rottweilers, Dobermans, Shepherds, Huskies, Great Danes, Pitbulls, and more, are pretty much a goner from the minute they are dropped off at a shelter. These breeds are low on the list of adoptees, especially if they show any signs of aggression. People looking to adopt a dog are too afraid of these breeds to take them home and give them a home. Without raising this kind of dog from a puppy, owners shy away from the risk they could be taking on.
The Sad Truth Behind Animal Shelters

Pets Become Very Depressed Behind Bars

Just like people, pets don’t like being caged behind bars. From the minute they are dropped off they cry for their owners, and beg to be let out of the cage. Loneliness sets in as they receive no human contact or interaction. The animal becomes confused and depressed, living with constant anxiety as it waits out its days in a cold, cage. Left in the dark, alone at night, is the worst time for these abandoned animals.
The Sad Truth Behind Animal Shelters

Atrocious Condition of Cages

The living conditions for most animals in shelters is atrocious. They pee and poop where they eat and sleep, and live with it most of the day. Once a day a powerful hose flushes their excrements from the cage, wetting and soiling them in the process. Insignificant amounts of food is pushed into the cage at feeding time, with no interaction. The animals are left cold, hungry and lonely, as they wait to be adopted before time runs out.
The Sad Truth Behind Animal Shelters

Kennel Cough and Other Infections

Most animals will develop kennel cough or other infections as they suffer in the shelter with hopes of being adopted. With no medication provided for them they get worse, and are taken to the euthanasia room to be put down. As sad as that sounds, for some it is better than other animals who are left to suffer, getting skinnier and more run down, until they practically die on their own, or are finally euthanized.
The Sad Truth Behind Animal Shelters

No Sedation Used During Euthanization

Most people believe that the method used to put their dog to “sleep” in a shelter is the same method used at a vet. They couldn’t be more wrong. At a vet, they typically use a two shot method, with the first shot being a strong sedative so the animal feels no pain when the lethal injection is administered. In shelters, because of financial issues, just the lethal does is administered, causing pain and a slow, agonizing death.
The Sad Truth Behind Animal Shelters

The Long Walk

When a dog is finally let out of his cage, it is most likely going to be his last walk. Obviously, the animal is excited, wagging it’s tail and expecting only good to come out of this, but as they hit the door way to the “death room,” their bodies stiffen, and they pull back on the leash. As if knowing what’s to come, they begin to freak out, refusing to enter the room, often having to be restrained.
The Sad Truth Behind Animal Shelters

Tossed In The Trash

The euthanasia process in shelters is inhumane to say the least, but what they do afterwards is just as appalling. As if the animal meant nothing to this world, the carcass is tossed in the trash. Piled up like garbage, they are kept in a freezer, until picked up like trash to be disposed off. Most likely they end up in the dump, or worse yet, experimented on. Most dogs that go into a shelter will come out this way, and this way only.
The Sad Truth Behind Animal Shelters
Things like this move me to tears instantly. It's heartbreaking to know that people will turn their backs on their animals without considering the consequences.

"Why are you posting this?" "What does this have to do with fitness?"

Nothing. But it has everything to do with life.

Your pets can be an incredible source of happiness even in the darkest of times; if you let them be.
They can be that source of unconditional love and never ending approval; if you let them be.
They can be the only soul standing next to you at the end of an impossibly hard day; if you let them be.
Your pets can be your greatest motivator and cheerleader when you feel like you're fighting everyone. Your pet is not going to judge you when you sneak that donut - but they may ask you to share. They're not going to notice when your favourite jeans don't fit quite the same as before.
While we all need a motivator, we also need a supporter. Sometimes that look of unconditional love is all it takes to remind you that no matter what, no matter the struggles, someone is going to look at you and smile at the end of the day.
Staying happy is so key to staying healthy and focused. Your pets can help you achieve your goals simply because they love you just for being you.
Unconditional love is so very very rare in this life, never turn your back on the opportunity to experience it.
If you are a pet owner, hold them close and realize you don't have them for that long. Treat them well and love them the way they love you.
If you are not, but want to be - consider adoption. There are so many animals with so much love to give and just don't have anyone that wants it.
If you have no desire to be, due to circumstances or personal preferences, that's perfectly acceptable. While I personally could never fathom a life without animals, I understand that for some it is just not an endeavor or responsibility they are interested in - and I respect your decision to not bring an animal into your life that you do not fully intend to care for.
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My furbabies:
Left = Maggie
Right = Mortimer

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