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Lost pets are on the rise in America   Recently updated !


‘A worrying fact shows that lost pets remain a structural problem that requires greater intervention and cooperation from all agents involved to reduce this figure and to ensure the welfare of dogs and cats in our society.’


Millions of lost pets end up abandoned annually in the US, as reported by the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA—surveyed every five years since 1986) and the American Pet Products Association. A part of them are acquired as gifts for Christmas and Valentine’s Day, but months later, the owners lose interest in them.


Although since 2008, there has been a decrease in the number of dogs and cats collected by the protective societies in America, it is still a moderate decrease. The figure, which last year was more than 137,000 abandoned pets, is still very high.
Over the last few years, the figure has only improved, but many dogs and cats are left on the streets.


However, a significant number of pets that arrive at a shelter does not really correspond to the rate of pet abandonment, which shows a loss. In fact, 20.4% of animals collected in shelters could return home only when they are identified. So it is essential that a microchip properly identifies dogs and cats to locate their owners.


As mentioned before, 20% are returned, 14% are still in the shelter, 10% are slaughtered, while 44% end up in a new home. This positive figure shows that promoting adoption is one of the key strategies for reducing the abandoned animals’ population and preventing them from being slaughtered or spending the rest of their days in the shelter.


Pet abandonment is a phenomenon that affects dogs and cats of all kinds and is not restricted to certain ages or races. About 20% of dogs and 11% of abandoned cats are purebred, while the rest are mestizos. On the other hand, most dogs and cats arrive at the refuge in adulthood (59%), although puppies (27%) and elderly animals (senior, 14%) are also collected.

The good thing is that 70% of the animals are collected healthy, but, on the contrary, only 24% have a microchip, which prevents their identification from being returned. And in the case of cats, only 3% that arrive are identified.


It should be noted that the time of stay in the puppies’ shelter is much less than that of older dogs and cats. This is because young animals tend to be more attractive to many adopters.


About 66% of the animals entering protection are found or picked up in the street. The remaining 34% is taken to the refuge by individuals other than the animal (70%) or directly by their owners (30%).

The behavior of the animal (15%), unexpected litters (15%), economic factors (12%), location changes (9%), and the end of the season hunting (10%).

Studies on pet abandonment have shown that the onus lies on individuals and pet owners to ensure that dogs and cats do not end up on the street.

According to a report, for pet abandonment to stop being a problem, the following measures need to be taken:

  • Educate pets with the help of an educator or ethologist.
  • Proper identification technique for easy pet recovery when it is lost.
  • Proper orientation before owning a pet.
  • Sterilization. Proper inquiry from a veterinarian for information about the process.
  • Adoption is an option to remedy the abandonment.

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Citizen participation is undoubtedly key to fight against the problem of pet abandonment. Therefore, it is necessary to educate the public about the advantages and the obligations involved and how the arrival of a dog or a cat can influence an individual lifestyle.