Why does the dog:owner relationship sometimes fail? Where do rescue dogs come from? And who is to blame? It’s a big problem for society and animal welfare in general, distressing and disappointing for the individuals involved, and often means a death sentence for the dogs. Aside from that, it’s also an opportunity to learn from the mistakes of others so we don’t have to make them ourselves.
In the US the number of dogs euthanized in shelters each year is thankfully on the decline but currently stands at around 4 million, which is 4.8% of the 83.3 million strong dog population, or 1 dog out of every 25. This is truly appalling!
In Australia the situation is slightly better. Though there is a lack of good data on this issue, it can be estimated from information collected by the RSPCA, some local government councils and the organisation Deathrow Pets that around 75,000 dogs are euthanized each year through shelters and pounds. According to the Australian Veterinary Association, the current dog population in Australia is 3.41 million. So from this it is apparent that around one dog out of every 45 Australian dogs is put to death each year because it has been abandoned, still a shocking statistic.