Euthanasia down, adoptions up at North American welfare organizations

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Oct 25, 2011
By dvm360.com staff
Oakville, Ontario — The number of cats and dogs euthanized by North American animal welfare organizations declined 12 percent and 3 percent, respectively, over the last year.

The figures come from a new survey by PetPoint, an animal management program licensed by more than 1,725 animal welfare organizations in the United States and Canada.

The decrease marks the 13th consecutive month of decline in feline euthanasia, according to Pethealth Inc., the parent company of PetPoint.

The latest PetPoint report included data from 921 animal welfare organizations, and was based on more than 150,000 intakes and nearly 148,000 outcomes for dogs and cats that entered or left those organizations from Sept. 2010 to Sept. 2011. Comparing the data through the previous September, PetPoint revealed that euthanasia rates decreased and so did stray intakes. Intakes of stray cats reportedly dropped 8 percent over the 12-month period, compared to a 1 percent drop for stray dog intakes.

Seizures of cats by law enforcement officials increased by 13 percent, while dog seizures increased 6 percent, according to the survey. But adoptions also were up, and cat adoptions increased by 5 percent and dog adoptions increased by 2 percent. Adoption fees for cats younger than 1 year of age remained the same, but increased 7 percent for cats older than 1. Adoption fees for dogs younger than 1 increased 1 percent, while fees for dogs older than 1 decreased 1 percent.

Cats and dogs returned to their owners increased by 3 percent and 5 percent, respectively, while returns of adopted animals to the same organization increased by 4 percent for cats and decreased by 1 percent for dogs.