Fewer animals will be euthanized this year than in the past, thanks to public education campaigns about the importance of spaying and neutering, according to Care2.com.
In the 1970s, between 12 and 20 million cats and dogs were euthanized each year, according to the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA) and the Humane Society International. This year, less than 4 million will be euthanized. Meanwhile, the number of pets that Americans own has increased. Stephen Zawistowski, science adviser for the ASPCA, told the AP that while in the '70's there were about 62 million pets, today there are over 170 million.
Zawistowski told the news source that years of campaigning by animal rescue
groups across the country have helped people understand that pet sterilization is now a standard part of responsible pet ownership. In addition, veterinarians have become more proficient in the medical procedure, making the surgery and recovery process easier on animals.
Public animal shelters, rescue groups and welfare organizations have raised money to spay and neuter cats and dogs without owners, furthering the effort to control the stray animal population, the news source reports.