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Our Nation's Animal Shelters are in Crisis

Although I have been talking about overcrowded animal shelters a great deal lately, I am concerned that most people don’t fully comprehend the magnitude of this dire situation. Animal shelters in communities throughout the country are in crisis. Shelters that have not had to euthanize for space in years are now being forced to do so. Pets are dying. This is a crisis in every sense, and we must act now.

Animal shelters reflect the community. A shelter’s outcomes tell us when the community is underserved and needs our support. In many communities, shelter animals are not vaccinated, are sick and in desperate need of basic medical care. Many communities also lack access to spay and neuter services creating an explosion of puppies and kittens. Shelter pets are suffering, and shelter staff is being forced to make tough decisions due to lack of space.

Today, the state of our nation’s animal shelters is telling us that families all over the country are suffering. This crisis has highlighted areas across the nation where support is urgently needed. If you are not concerned, you should be. If you love pets, please take a few moments to watch the video below to hear from our shelter partners about the enormous challenges they are facing and SHARE it!

With rising inflation, housing changes, the increased cost of veterinary care and many people struggling to make ends meet, shelters from coast to coast are seeing a drastic increase in the number of owner surrenders. Thousands of people each month are being forced to leave family members behind. Imagine having to walk away from your beloved pet. It is heartbreaking. To make matters worse, the length of stay for pets in shelters is also increasing and fewer families are adopting.

With shelters throughout the country struggling, many pets are not getting a second chance. So many highly adoptable pets are waiting. Only you can save a life. Only you can be the change needed. The situation is desperate and there has never been a more crucial time for you to be part of the solution:

  1. Adopt: When you’re looking for your next pet, please choose adoption. There are deserving pets of every breed, age and personality type waiting to find a loving home. Share your adoption story with friends and family on social media.
  2. Foster: Open your heart and home to a shelter pet and create space at your local animal shelter for other pets in need.
  3. Donate: Please consider making a meaningful gift to your local animal shelter and/or to BISSELL Pet Foundation. 100% of every lifesaving gift made to BISSELL Pet Foundation directly benefits pets in need by providing adoption events, spay/neuter services, vaccinations and transportation to areas where they can be adopted.
  4. Be kind: Not only are shelters being forced to euthanize for space, but they are being bullied and condemned. Don’t perpetuate this messaging. Euthanizing for space is not a decision made lightly. Please be compassionate and know that every decision to euthanize comes at a personal cost.

Join me and BISSELL Pet Foundation in supporting our shelters, keeping families together and celebrating the comfort pets bring us, especially during difficult times. Working together creates the best outcomes for pets.

Please share this blog in your community to help residents understand this crisis and how they can be part of the solution.