Adoption Rate Up, Kill Rate Down at City Animal Shelters

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Photo: EMMANUEL DUNAND/AFP/Getty Images

Rarely is there much happy news to come out of animal shelters, but today there was! According to newly released statistics, the percentage of dogs and cats put down in city shelters last year reached an all-time low, down to 33 percent from a high of 69 percent in 2003. Meanwhile, the adoption rate shot up to 66 percent, from 26 percent in 2003.

To what can we attribute such a drastic rise in people taking pets home from the shelter? The recession, of course. “In troubled times, people look to pets for comfort,” said Steve Gruber, a spokesman for the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals. “Although keeping a pet can be challenging when cash is tight, some people may have discovered that they want the unconditional love that a pet gives you more.”

Percentage of Animals Put to Death in Shelters Reaches Low [City Room/NYT]