dog overpopulation leaking tap

What does dog overpopulation have to do with a leaking tap?

If you came home from a 2 week holiday to find a tap running over a sink with the plug in and your entire house was flooded I am pretty sure your first actions would be to turn off the tap and pull the plug out. You would not grab a bucket and start to bail water or building a tank in your garden to store excess water.

Humane dog overpopulation management is not that different you have to tackle the cause of the problem, not just the end result. Animals breeding are the running taps, and the lack of homes are the plugged sink; quite simply globally there are too many dogs for not enough homes.

We can not adopt our way out of overpopulation

There are a finite number of good homes for animals regardless of where those people choose to source a dog from if there are too many dogs they will suffer. In Asian countries like Sri Lanka where Dogstar Foundation works excess dogs are dumped on the roadside. In western countries such as the UK and America excess dogs are taken or surrendered to shelters and pounds, and many are euthanized after a legal holding period.

The HSUS estimates that animal shelters care for 6-8 million dogs and cats every year in the United States, of whom approximately 3-4 million are euthanised. While The Dogs Trust Stray Dogs Survey 2013 Estimates approximately 8,985 unwanted dogs were put to sleep across the UK during the of 1st April 2012 to 31st March 2013. These figures don’t include the tens of thousands of dogs discarded from the Greyhound Racing Industry or puppy mills every year.

Adoption and rehoming centres are not bad things

Rescued dogs are not inferior in any way to breeder brought dogs, but there are still a finite number of homes. No matter how much organisations and their supporters want happy endings we have to be realistic there are too many dogs and not enough good homes. Non-rehoming shelters can provide a home for unwanted dogs, but they are expensive to run and many are underfunded, understaffed and become nothing more than a living hell for the dogs trapped in them as recent experience here in Sri Lanka showed.

Unless we fix the leaking tap of overpopulation, rehoming centres/programs, shelters, sanctuaries will continue to be flooded by a never-ending the flow of unwanted animals. Sterilising dogs before they can contribute to the overpopulation crisis has to be the main focus of our work because currently dogs are simply being born to die.