California’s growing challenge of dog overpopulation

California’s growing challenge of dog overpopulation
February 24, 2023


It’s tricky to be a canine in California right now, especially if you’re undesirable, stashed absent in a crowded cage with other unwanted canine, hoping in opposition to hope to be adopted. Regrettably, the odds are not in your favor.

At last depend, Bakersfield was struggling with 300 dogs in a single shelter—the situation is so poor that they’ve commenced euthanizing puppies—puppies! Around in Fresno, there are presently extra than 650 pet dogs, spread out in two individual amenities, obtainable for adoption.

There is not a single shelter in LA County in which place isn’t an difficulty. Even in this article, in San Luis Obispo County, our model new expanded facility is now stuffed to ability.

Two several years in the past, as COVID gripped the country, you could not come across a pet to undertake. Animal shelters were ghost cities. Every person celebrated. Not anymore. Everything’s improved. The factors are many the alternatives are handful of.

Talk with nearby canine rescuers, like Charlotte Meade with Meade Canine Rescue in Creston, or Anouk Novy of Novy’s Ark Pet dog Rescue in Atascadero, and the problem results in being all way too crystal clear. As well numerous of us went again to do the job submit-COVID and made a decision we no more time desired to treatment for a pet.

Spay/neuter rates have plunged dramatically—University of Florida researchers report that U.S. veterinarians done 2.7 million much less spay and neuter surgical procedures in 2020 and 2021. It’s not by coincidence that most of the dogs now clogging the shelters are a lot less than two many years aged.

The issue is compounded by an rising scarcity of veterinarians. Those however in follow have usually had to increase their spay/neuter expenses. I’ve read some nearby vets are at the moment charging upwards of $600 for every puppy. Sadly, also many people are not inclined to spend the funds.

Equally troubling is the raise of persons breeding and marketing dogs for cash. Officials in excess of in Fresno have encountered homeless men and women on the street marketing puppies for a swift buck. Animal enthusiasts applauded new legislation that bans pet retailers from selling pet dogs and cats from breeders, but that did not cease the offering. It only shifted every thing from the retailer to the street and Craigslist.

There is no rationale to feel the problem will transform at any time quickly. I submit that most men and women aren’t even informed that there is a dilemma, so people like Anouk Novy, Charlotte Meade, Cheri Lucas, and a handful of other volunteers (curiously all ladies) shoulder the load of executing what they can, with what small assets they have. Personally, I really don’t know how they can go into these crammed shelters week following 7 days.

On behalf of the pet dogs, I check with for your help. Naturally, the finest factor you could do appropriate now is to go and undertake a pet dog from a rescue team, but I also realize if there is no room at the inn the place you stay. So look at finding yet another way of supporting pet dog rescue get the job done, both by means of volunteering, or donation. Each greenback counts. Just about every greenback helps.

There are hundreds of puppy rescue teams scattered across California and they’d all enjoy something you could do on their behalf.

I believe that we have caring and accountable reps in Sacramento in point out Senator John Laird and Assemblywoman Dawn Addis. Funding for specific spay/neuter plans may be the ideal way to reduce the dog overpopulation we’re facing. Please electronic mail your reps, or carry it up in general public forums. Offering puppies, apart from by means of accredited breeders, must also be outlawed at both the town or county level. The revenue motive ought to be eliminated.

Let’s give these canines a chance. It is up to us.

Dave Congalton is a radio host and animal welfare advocate who life in San Luis Obispo.