annual dog and cat killing
In ANIMAL PEOPLE (subscription)
The Watchdog, July/August 2006
Gains against shelter killing come hard in the Gulf States, West, and Midwest
First regions with low-cost dog & cat sterilization are still making fastest progress.
The U.S. regions where the first low-cost and free dog and cat sterilization programs started, between 30 and 50 years ago, still are making the fastest progress in reducing the numbers of dogs and cats killed in animal shelters.
The 13th annual ANIMAL PEOPLE projection of the U.S. shelter-killing toll shows that
the rate of killing per thousand humans appears to have fallen back to the low of 14.8 that was achieved in 2000-2001, after a steep rise in 2001-2002. Because the U.S. human population and the numbers of dogs and cats kept by humans have all increased, the current annual toll of about 4.38 million dogs and cats killed in shelters is still about 180,000 higher than the toll of five years ago.
Neuter/return had apparently caught on well enough by 2001 that the feral cat population continued to drop, but at a slower rate than in the 1990s. This trend is continuing.
Evaluation of road kill studies, shelter intake data, and feeder/rescuer surveys indicates that the U.S. feral cat population currently ranges between about six million in winter and 12 million at the peak of summer "kitten season," for a year-round average of about nine million.
This is less than a fourth of the numbers projected by ANIMAL PEOPLE in 1992, just
before neuter/return caught on in the U.S., and less than half of the total projected in 1954 by John Marbanks, who published the first serious U.S. dog and cat population studies in the long defunct American Humane Association magazine National Humane Review.