Overpopulation of Domestic Animals

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No Name No Name English 110 16 December 2012 Overpopulation Of Domestic Animals Pet overpopulation occurs when there are more domestic cats and dogs than there are people who want them as pets. It is impossible to accurately determine how many stray dogs and cats live in the United States; animal shelters estimate that there may be up to seventy-million stray cats alone (Pet Statistics). The average female cat can produce two litters of six kittens per year, and a female dog can produce one litter of six or more puppies per year, making pet overpopulation a significant problem (Pet Statistics). About four- million cats and dogs are euthanized each year because there simply aren't enough willing homes to adopt them (Pet Statistics). As a result, most animal shelters urge pet owners to have their pets spayed or neutered to prevent accidental litters of unwanted and potentially homeless kittens and puppies. Thousands of independent animal shelters across the United States attempt to deal with the complex problem of unwanted companion animals through spay and neuter programs, adoptions, and as a last resort, euthanasia. Pet overpopulation is both a social and financial problem. Catching, feeding and caring for unwanted animals costs taxpayers and private agencies millions of dollars each year, as do adoption and education programs (Sternberg 153). Additional costs are generated by the euthanization and disposal of animals that go unadopted. The animal welfare movement traces its roots back to the post-Civil War era. In 1866, Henry Bergh, a wealthy New Yorker who was moved to take action after witnessing cruelty to the city's working horses (Harbolt 123); this event inspired Bergh to create in New York City the American Society for the Prevention of

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