The number of homeless dogs and cats in Los Angeles, California, continues to rise as the number of pets foreclosed homes and troubled homeowners who are forced to leave their residences and abandon their pets also increases. However, local authorities claimed that there is more to the problem than foreclosures and financially-troubled owners who can no longer afford to care for their furry friends.
The number of animal shelters by state is already limited to begin with, authorities have stated, but when other factors come into play, this small number of shelters gets stretched beyond their limits, like what is happening in Los Angeles. Reports have revealed that abandoned cats and dogs in the Southland are increasing rapidly, forcing animal advocates and local authorities to look beyond the housing crisis to identify the source of the surge.
In 2010, an estimated 56,000 homeless cats and dogs reportedly passed through animal shelters in Los Angeles, with 25% of these pets ending up getting euthanized as shelters find themselves unable to care for them due to overpopulation. Recently, numbers have surged again and authorities are tracking the problem back to kitten and puppy mills that are operating in the city. According to animal activists, these pet mills should be shut down and efforts should be made to encourage people to get their pets through adoption from shelters instead of buying them from mills.
Pets foreclosed homes and the overall housing industry are not the only reasons for the surge in the number of abandoned cats and dogs, pet advocates have stated. They revealed that puppy mills, which are facilities geared towards mass breeding for profits, are also a huge part of the problem. Some lawmakers and pet supporters are recommending implementing stricter rules on mass kennel breeding of cats and dogs to alleviate the problem.
They also recommend that steps be taken to relocate some of the pets in overpopulated shelters into pet stores so that they can be offered for adoption. According to them, operators of these kitten and puppy mills are trying to earn a quick dollar and do not care about the condition of the animals, with almost all of them not even bothering to spay or neuter the pets.
A number of local officials stated that problems of pets foreclosed homes, surging number of abandoned animals and overpopulated shelters are all tied up with the economy. With a lot of people finding themselves in financial difficulties, some are opting to earn money at the expense of helpless pets.