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Vet Corner with Boyd Harrell, DVM

If I find homes for the litters, what's the problem?

As a veterinarian, I often hear people say that they wanted their pets to have one litter, but plan to find homes for all the puppies or kittens themselves. I believe that most likely they will find homes for that litter, but here is what I always say to them: While you may be lucky enough to find homes for all your puppies or kittens, those puppies and kittens are displacing others that may not be so lucky to find a home, and therefore may be euthanized in a local shelter. Nationwide, only 20% of people are adopting their pets from a shelter, because they are getting them from other sources such as friends, family, and Craigslist. If there were not so many "oops" litters available, more people may choose to visit a shelter for their next best friend.

Additionally, you can't control the decisions that the new owners of your pet's litters will make. Let's say you give a puppy or kitten to a friend. That friend could end up having another litter and giving them away on Craigslist or to people you don't know. Those future puppies and kittens could wind up homeless, neglected, in an animal shelter, or contributing to the shelter overpopulation problem by producing puppies and kittens themselves.

90% of animals entering shelters are unaltered at the time of intake. The person who took a puppy or kitten from you may have every intention of keeping them and be completely in love with them when they bring them home. Sometimes circumstances change beyond their control or it doesn't work out like they planned. Shelter overpopulation is created one dog, one cat, and one litter at a time. Shelter overpopulation can also be controlled by one responsible decision at a time by spaying and neutering.

Watch our short video on this conversation.

 

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