Animal euthanasia rates in the U.S has plummeted in the past decade. However, some say the number is still too high and it is inhumane. Animals are being put to sleep before they are given a chance to live.
“Pet euthanasia rates have plummeted in big cities in recent years, falling more than 75 percent since 2009,” published in the New York Times. The trap–neuter–release program is one reason why the number of euthanasians has dropped in the past years. According to a post on Animal Care Services, “TNR is a program in which community cats are humanely trapped, evaluated, vaccinated, sterilized, and marked by an identifying notch in the left ear, all administered by a veterinarian, and returned to the trap location.” This means the number of feral cats born is reduced.
Contrary to popular belief, PETA, People for Ethical Treatment of Animals, is for euthanasia in shelters and is not concerned with the number of animals being put to sleep. “Even if the best we can offer them is a painless release from a world that doesn’t have enough room for them in its heart or homes. People may throw stones at us, but we are against all needless killing: for hamburgers, fur collars, dissection, sport hunting—the works,” posted on to PETA’s webpage. PETA says pounds putting down severely sick and injured animals is ok, but, not healthy animals.
In the book, Tiny but Mighty, animal rights activist Hannah Shaw says, “Euthanasia is, by definition, “the act or practice of killing or permitting the death of hopelessly sick or injured individuals.” But, is a kitten hopeless just because she is three weeks old? Heck No! These kittens are not sick or injured they are simply being put down because they cannot enter the adoption program right away. “56 percent of dogs and 71 percent of cats that enter animal shelters are euthanized. More cats are euthanized than dogs because they are more likely to enter a shelter without any owner identification”, according to, America Humane First to Serve. Kittens under eight weeks old are a large group of cats that are put to sleep on shelters every year.
Animals are not being given the chance to survive in this country and are being killed in gas chambers when not claimed by families or adopted. “Only 15.8 percent of dogs and 2 percent of cats that enter animal shelters are reunited with their owners. 25 percent of dogs and 24 percent of cats that enter animal shelters are adopted,” according to, America Humane First to Serve. By people not getting their animals fixed and feral cats breeding on the streets, there are more needy pets then there is room in a shelter for them.