Great progress toward a No Kill Nation (NOT)

Rich Avanzino was interviewed on the radio this morning and says we need only do another 2.3 million adoptions from shelters to become a No Kill Nation. That’s quite a lot of progress, down from 2.7 he said where needed in an interview with him just pubbed on the web yesterday.  And that’s down from the 3 million I’ve seen before.


At this rate, we’ll be at No Kill status by the end of the week.

As I discussed in a previous blog, we don’t really know how many pets are in this country, much less how many people will be adopting next year.  I think the day after I published my blog, this article came out. Americans own 70 million dogs and 74 million cats, and pet ownership is waning. Or no, wait. It’s 83 million dogs and 96 million cats, and pet ownership is at a record high.”

Where does the 17 million new homes come from?  I thought it was from the number of pets, figuring the average lifespan at 10 years and that most people will get a new pet after they lose one, more or less, what with the human population growing, people dying, it probably about balances out.  And if we average those ownership numbers, that comes out to 16.15 million folks getting new pets next year.  Which is sort of close to 17 million.  But how many will already be getting them from shelters?

Well, I based one estimate on Maddie’s Fund’s db of shelter stats for 2011, which represents about 10% of the nation’s human population and I got 1.9 million: 963,454 cats and  931,431 dogs.  But then I looked at California’s shelter stats, also about 10% of the US and also about 1.9 million adoptions.  Except based on CA, it would be 669,601 cats and 1,220,308 dogs.  Well, everyone else seems to think dogs and cats are interchangeable, so why should I worry.  The total number came out almost the same and that impressed me.

Then I looked at these stats:

where obtained



And, by gum, the percentages adopted are close enough that based on either source, it comes to almost 13 million new homes for pets.  Well, that’s not that far from 16.1 which isn’t far from 17.  So we’re sort of on track.

And I will continue along this track in a future blog.



About Capt'n Lisa

In transition
This entry was posted in Animal Shelters, Statistics and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

4 Responses to Great progress toward a No Kill Nation (NOT)

  1. Lisbeth Mønsted Larsen says:

    Whilst I think spay and neuter is a good way of curbing unwanted litters and a mass influx of dogs there is a few issues i do not agree with and where i think new legislation should be implemented. Adopting pit bulls out is the same as giving a family with children a ticking time bomb and downright irresponsible. Then there is something else that will also prevent an influx of unwanted dogs namely stop selling dogs from pet shops stop unauthorized breeding from people who merely do it for a profit not to share their love of a specific breed of dogs. If it become illegal to sell dogs from pet shops it will again stop the many puppy factories where dogs live in absolute misery no socialization and lack of anything that looks like care. Another thing stop the breeding of greyhounds for the racing industry too many are discarded before they ever reach the tracks they live a miserable existence and this should be banned. Dogs should be regarded as family members not as cheap commodities bought and sold countless times before they end up being euthanized in a shelter some where.


    • Capt'n Lisa says:

      Thanks for the response, Lisbeth, although I had to edit it before posting to correct about a dozen misspellings. But I didn’t change anything else.

      As I’ve posted before, I think it’s very important to distinguish between dogs and cats, although I suppose I’m guilty of not doing it more, too. Spay/Neuter is necessary, and possibly even sufficient, to reduce shelter euthanasia for cats. The situation for dogs is much more complicated and, while I think it helps, there are a lot of other problems that need to be addressed.

      I’m much more experienced with cats than dogs, so I leave the floor open to people who know more than I do. In particular, I know people I respect on different sides of the pit bull issue and I’m at a loss to know what the best way to address it is. What I do know is that there are shelters full of pit bulls for adoption and lots of people wanting to adopt a dog who won’t and/or shouldn’t adopt one, especially an untrained adult. So even if there are 17 million potential adopters for shelter animals, doesn’t equal an adopter for every animal killed in a shelter.

      Notice in the interview, they’re talking about their Shih-Tzus and Schnauzers. Look for one of those at a shelter. Ask and you’ll probably be told they do get them in sometimes. Ask to be put on a waiting list to be called when they get one in. They might take your name, but they probably won’t keep it. When they do get one in, there will be a line of folks ready to adopt it. One shelter where I volunteered, that was the situation when all the adopters were asking for was any kind of small dog. We had a rather old and blind miniature poodle picked up as a stray with hold on it, and a long list of people who wanted to adopt it when it became available.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s