PET OVERPOPULATION A GROWING PROBLEM
Every year four million dogs and cats are euthanized in U.S. shelters – equaling one animal euthanized for every 78 people. (Source: The Humane Society of the United States) The majority of these are not homeless animals; they are purebreds & ‘designer’ dogs, young, old and the puppies and kittens of family pets.
In Plaquemines Parish, each year one animal is euthanized for every 38 people – more than double the U.S. average.
The problem isn’t purebreds and designer dogs, it’s the excessive number of dogs and cats that have not been spayed or neutered. “In the last year alone, PAWS has taken in 26 litters of kittens, 12 litters of puppies and 21 pregnant dogs,” says Plaquemines Animal Welfare Society (PAWS) Director Denise Manger. “In some cases, the babies and mama’s are so sick or poorly nourished the just don’t make it.”
The tragedy is, the majority of these pet deaths are preventable. “Animal Control frequently receives calls from Parish residents asking us to pick up the litter of puppies or kittens their family pet has just delivered,” says Raymund Ferrer, Plaquemines Parish Animal Control Superintendent. “While we have a close partnership with PAWS, the only no-kill shelter in Plaquemines, they simply cannot take in all the puppies, kittens, dogs and cats that are picked up by Animal Control.”
The euthanasia numbers in Plaquemines Parish are heartbreaking. Of the cats and dogs taken in by Animal Control this year, 52% were euthanized.
Many residents want to have their pets spayed or neutered, but are deterred when they find out how much it costs. While it can cost more than $170, there are several affordable options available. Residents do have a choice to be part of the solution to the family pet euthanasia problem.
- Pet Owners: If you have a pet that is not spayed or neutered, contact the LASPCA (504-363-1333) or Southern Animal Foundation (504-671-8235) – both provide affordable, low-cost spay/neuter programs. Or, contact your family veterinarian; you might be able to work out payment arrangements.
- Grant Writers: If you are a grant writer willing to volunteer, contact Denise Manger, PAWS Shelter Director (504-392-1601). Thousands of dollars in grant monies are available to support low-cost spay/neuter programs in the Parish – we need your help securing them.
- Donors: If you would like to fund a spay-neuter program, contact Denise Manger, PAWS Shelter Director (504-392-1601). Your contributions are sorely needed.