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Local dog asks, could it be people are trending to greater sustainability

Hillary Collection

Cedar Dog, the Denver-based Doggone Green Crusader and author of Eco-Solutions for a Pet’s Daily Life wants to know if this is a new indicator. Are pet parents keeping their animals despite economic hardships. It has been reported for nearly four years that when family members lose their job(s) many people can no longer afford to keep their pets. Mortgage problems that began in 2007 had tragic results for pets. The number of abandoned animals continued to climb as foreclosure rates increased. When home sales fell, fewer and fewer new homeowners came into the market, which meant less people were adopting pets. Shelters struggled to keep up with caring for extra animals, particularly cats. Could this trend be reversing? If so, this is incredible news for pets and their people. Could this be a move toward greater sustainability?

As of this writing the new statistics surfaced in October 2110 via PetPoint, an animal data management system. The company’s owner says that new data collected from nearly 900 animal welfare organizations in the U.S. shows “cat surrenders were down by 5 percent and the number of dogs was down 9 percent. Could it be that people are keeping their animals despite economic hardships?

Christa Chadwick, director of North American Shelter Outreach for PetHealth, Inc. was quoted in PET AGE magazine as saying, “the number of cats and dogs adopted from shelters increased while euthanasia decreased.” Chadwick says that the drop in owner surrenders shows that “families value the emotional support a cat or dog provides, especially during difficult economic times.”

Today’s pets are totally dependant on their people for survival, and two-leggeds depend on them for companionship, unconditional love, and acceptance. They are members of our family. Are Colorado shelters and rescues seeing a reversal? Stay tuned as we investigate.

Read the outcomes reported by PetPoint and printed in the February 2011 issue of PET AGE magazine published monthly and on their online site by H.H. Backer Associates, Inc.


  • In October 2010, a total of 71,150 cats left AWOs, a decline of 8% vs. October 2009
  • 28,773 were adopted, an increase of 6% over 2009.
  • Euthanisations totaled 35,534, a decline of 19% vs. October last year.
  • Transfers of cats out of reporting AWOs to other organizations totaled 3,390, an increase of 14%.
  • 1,437 cats were returned to their owners, an increase of 1% to October 2009.
  • A total of 2,016 cats died (excluding euthanisations) while in AWOs during October 2010, a decline of 6% from 2009.


  • 63,360 dogs left AWOs during October, a 6% decrease to October 2009.
  • Adoptions increased 5% to 30,389.
  • Euthanisations declined 23% to 18,343.
  • Transfers of dogs from reporting AWOs to other organizations increased 1% to 5,732.
  • Dogs returned to owners totaled 8,158, an increase of 1%.
  • The number of dogs that died while in shelters totaled 738 (excluding euthanisations), an increase of 15% over 2009.

A recent blog post by Cedar Dog and an opinion piece by Jeff Opdyke of the Wall Street Journal Sunday, Love & Money. The High Price of Pets. But So Worth It.

Let us hear your comments, what do you think?


  • Rose 4 years ago

    Great to see stats that that surrendering cats & dogs is down and adoptions are up. Good indication that a) the economy is improving, b) people are increasingly turning to pets for security and comfort when times are hard or c) both. In any case, it's good news for people and pets!

  • erikakessler 4 years ago

    Great to see data saying that pet surrenders are down and adoptions up. That's a good indication that a) economy is improving, b) people are more intune with the fact that pets provide security and comfort when times are bad, or c) both. In any case, news is positive for pets and people!

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