Shelter crisis: Animal welfare organization reports spike in pets killed in US shelters, urges people to adopt

NEW ORLEANS (WGNO) – In 2021, more than 98,000 homeless animals were taken to animal shelters in Louisiana. Of those thousands of animals, 76,879 were rescued according to the Best Friends Animal Society.

On June 7, the animal welfare organization released the sixth annual Companion Animal Survival Dataset, which provides a national snapshot of the number of dogs and cats entering and exiting shelters during a given year.

According to published information, 78% of animals that have entered Louisiana shelters have been rescued, despite the increased supply of animals.

The organization said some of the Louisiana shelters have stepped up during some of the toughest times.

According to data published by the Best Friends Animal Society, Lafayette Animal Shelter & Care Center, St. Tammany Parish Department of Animal Services, and Lafourche Parish Animal Shelter all achieved non-elimination status in 2021, with rates of savings of 93.2%, 92.9%, and 90% respectively, while Tangipahoa Parish Animal Services achieved a savings rate of 81.3%, an increase of over 40% from 2020.

“These four shelters prove that it is possible to save dogs and cats even in the most difficult times,” said Lee Ann Shenefiel, South Central Regional Director of the Best Friends Animal Society. “We hope other shelters in Louisiana will adopt similar rescue programs so that we can save as many dogs and cats as possible in the future.”

While there has been some improvement, data showed that nationwide, for the first time in five years, U.S. shelter systems are experiencing a setback in rescue, according to the animal welfare organization. .

Data from Best Friends showed the crisis in animal shelters in America.

Data showed that in 2021, the number of dogs and cats killed in U.S. shelters rose from 347,000 to 355,000 due to staffing shortages and limited hours, fewer in-person volunteers, a reduction in adoption events and animal care support.

“The responsibility for saving the lives of pets should not rest solely with shelters and those caring for animal welfare, but with entire communities, including community members, government leaders, shelters and other animal welfare groups,” said Julie Castle, CEO of Best Friends Animal Society. .

The organization encourages people to adopt from a shelter or rescue group, spay or neuter their pets, adopt, volunteer or donate to help solve the problem.

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