We Can Do It! Adopting Our Way Out of Killing
“You can’t adopt your way out of killing.” It is one of the most enduring dogmas in the animal shelter field. But it could not be more wrong. You actually can adopt your way out of killing. The data proves it. Experience proves it. And that is good news for animals and animal lovers.
About two million dogs and cats will be killed in pounds and shelters this year for lack of a new home. Can we find homes for those animals? Yes we can. Using the most successful adoption communities as a benchmark and adjusting for
population, U.S. shelters combined should be adopting almost nine million animals a year. That is over four times the number being killed for lack of a home. In fact, it is more than total
impounds, and of those, almost half do not need a new home. But the news gets even better.
There are about 30 million people who are going to get an animal next year. Some are already committed to adopting from a shelter. Some are already committed to getting one from a breeder or other commercial source. But two-thirds
have not decided where that animal will come from and research shows they can be influenced to adopt from a shelter. That’s 20 million people vying for roughly two million animals. So even if the vast majority of those people acquired an animal from somewhere other than a shelter, we could still zero out the killing. And many communities are proving it. Here's how.