Stephen Bové - Art, Technology, Right Action

Friday, November 10, 2006

American Pet Holocaust

We have an overwhelming pet overpopulation problem in the United States. The problem is so huge that WE CAN NO LONGER LOOK THE OTHER WAY. American LEADERS MUST DO SOMETHING TO END THIS HORROR.

Each year almost 10 MILLION healthy dogs and cats are "put down" simply because there aren't homes for all of them. THIS IS A PET HOLOCAUST. Surveys say that the vast majority of Americans LOVE AND RESPECT ANIMALS. How can we allow this to continue? It is not right or just. It is a symptom of our vast wealth and our vast insulation from the fall-out of our profligacy.

The American pet holocaust is due to individual pet guardians not spaying/neutering their pets, individual pet guardians breeding their pets on purpose and thinking it is OK because (1) they have a "purebred", (2) they think that their pet should experience motherhood/fatherhood, (3) because they think that their children should witness the miracle of birth, (4) because they think that they have an exceptional pet; and 5) because irresponsible puppymillers and breeders are over-breeding.

ATLANTA
Take just one Ameican city, Atlanta, which happens to be very serious about studying and solving this problem. Atlanta area shelters kill ~90,000 dogs and cats each year. Pet overpopulation in Atlanta is a problem of epidemic proportions. More pets are killed each year in Atlanta area shelters than in the entire country of Great Britain. Most of the pets that enter Atlanta shelters are family pets that have become lost or have strayed from home (without an ID tag, the shelters have no way of identifying them). More than 800 tons (an average of 20 lbs per animal) of dead dog and cat bodies are produced in one year in the Atlanta. The vast majority of the pets killed in Atlanta could have been (and many were) beloved personal/family pets and friends.

It boggles the mind.

THE NATION
At the national level, the statistics are even more depressing, astounding, and alarming.

Experts who specialize in studying this annual AMERICAN HOLOCAUST estimate that ~10 million dogs and cats are euthanized each year in the United States (the most recent estimate was 9.6 Million). Every year!

That's 27,300 Codys, Sierras, Tabbys, Ladys and Tramps PER DAY. 20 every minute. Count to 60. Keep counting and counting. Each of these animals is a complex, intelligent high-level mammal with a huge need to bind to a group and be loved. Each of these animals, to some degree, suffers the terror of being lost or abandoned by its family/owner, left alone, cold, deeply sadened and filled with longing prior to being led to the gas or vacuum chamber.

MY FELLOW HUMANS! WE ARE ABOVE THIS! THIS IS HORRIFYINGLY CRUEL AND IT MUST BE STOPPED. AND THERE IS AN ANSWER. ALL IT WILL TAKE IS A BIT OF ACTION AND IN A MATTER OF A FEW YEARS THIS PROBLEM CAN BE RECTIFIED. YOU NEED TO DO SOMETHING ABOUT IT. WE ALL NEED TO DO SOMETHING ABOUT IT.

But first, some more statistics to reinforce the proposed solution.

Americans have got to stop thinking of pets as fonts of income and/or disposable toys. This thinking is barbaric and CRUEL. When you breed a pet, you are contributing to a massive over-population problem. When you take ownership of a pet, you are signing up as a care provider for the life of the pet, unless you personally find a new home for that pet that you trust as being as good or better than the one you yourself have provided.

Taking your pet to a shelter and dropping it off is CRUEL and more than likley, A DEATH SENTENCE (see stats below). IT SHOULD NOT BE CONDONED, OR PROVIDED AS AN OPTION EXCEPT IN THE MOST EGREGIOUS CIRCUMSTANCE (FOR INSTANCES, THE DEATH OF AN OWNER WITH NO RELATIVES and NO WILL).

Not making sure your pet wears ID at all times is CRUEL and more than likley a DEATH SENTENCE (see stats below). If your pet gets lost without ID, you will probably not ever see it again, AND IT WILL BE KILLED AT A SHELTER (OR ON A ROAD) WITHIN 2 WEEKS.

Breeding your pet, or running a breeding operation that sells pets to anyone other than highly pre-qualified owners, is CRUEL and probably a death sentence for the animals bred (see statistics below). Breeders need to be held accountable for the problem they have created.

BREEDERS, YOU CAN NO LONGER SHUNT THE BLAME FOR THIS CRUELTY ONTO OTHERS. and you are largely responsible for THE GIANT PILE OF TAX DOLLARS THAT ARE USED TO OPERATE OVERBURDENED, ALL-TO-NUMEROUS-INT-THE-FIRST-PLACE SHELTERS THAT ARE REALLY DEATH CAMPS. You are the largest part of the problem.

Here are some more facts.

* 56% of dogs and 71% of cats that enter animal shelters are euthanized.

* Only 15% of lost dogs and 2% of cats that enter animal shelters are reunited with their owners.

* Only 29% of dogs and 27% of cats who's owners don't come and retreive them are adopted.

* So to sum that up: 1 in 3 dogs/cats who enter a sheter are adopted, 2 in 10 lost dogs and 2 in 100 lost cats who end up in shelters are reunited with their owners. 1 out of 2 dogs who enter a shelter are killed. 7 out of 10 cats who enter a shleter are killed.

THE MOST VENEMOUS RACIST NAZI'S WOULD BE PROUD OF THESE NUMBERS AT CONCENTRATION CAMPS.

FOR THE FREEST, RICHEST NATION ON EARTH TO ALLOW THIS IS INEXCUSABLE!

So, what's the SOLUTION?

The United States of America needs a new Federal Law that governs the breeding, tagging and owning of pets. This law should do the following:

1) Outlaw breeding cats and dogs without a federal issued license. These licenses must only be given to the highest quality breeders who pre-qualify buyer/owners, and the numbers of dogs and cats bred each year must be highly regulated to match actual demand.

1a) Outlaw selling a dog or cat to a non-prequalified buyer.

1b) Outlaw selling a dog or cat that has not been ID chipped.

1c) Outlaw removal of ID chips.

2) Outlaw buying dogs or cats from non-licensed breeders.

3) Outlaw owning a non-neuterd/spayed dog unless you are one of the very few Federally licensed breeders.

4) Assign ownership of a lost dog all the way back to the original breeder if subsequent owners cannot be located. SHELTERS ARE A LAST RESORT. PERIOD.

5) Assess significant fines for loosing a pet, removing an ID chip from a pet, and not keeping the ID chip up to date with owners contact info.

The impact of this law would be:
1) An immediate reducation in cruelty/death
2) Immediate increase in quality of breed stocks
3) Immediate reduction in the cost of adminstering shelters
4) A GIANT and HIGHLY SATISFYING nation-wide reduction in the HORRIFYING CRUELTY BEING EXPERIENCED BY 10 MILLION+ LOST/ABANDONED and then EUTHANIZED domestic pets each year.

For more information, please read the following link:

http://www.spotsociety.org/fate.htm

Then write your Senators and Representatives.

And now for a great song from Neil Young that I think about when I conjour 23,000 lonely dog and cat friends dying in shelters across America every day.

Neil Young, "Don't Let It Bring You Down"

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