Honestly, a year ago I knew nothing about it. Now I find myself preoccupied. The numbers are incredible. It is estimated that 4 to 5 million pets are put down each year in shelters due to overpopulation. That number is insane when you think of it. That's the population of South Carolina.
The tragic thing is that this is also about the same number of dogs being produced by puppy mills and backyard breeders. So, if the entire country didn't buy a dog for a year, and opted to adopt from their local shelters, if everyone took advantage of low cost spay and neuter clinics, there would be no dog overpopulation.
But I'm not going to be able to reach the entire country with this post, nor will I be able to change everyone's mind even if they did read this. Besides, when you shoot out a number like 5 million, it tends to desensitize people. The number is too big, the problem is too large. That's how I felt, and still feel.
But what about the number 337?
The Norfolk Animal Control Center is a great pound, but it is capacity controlled. Last year they put down 337 dogs (304 adults, 33 puppies) who were healthy and adoptable. They just ran out of room.
I can't fix 5 million, but I can try and help out those 337. My Craigslist Project may seem small, but I'm trying to make a difference. Here are the faces of some of the dogs that got adopted in January. They found their happy endings, let's see if we can make some more.