Preventing pet overpopulation: 5 original ideas that could change the lives of stray animals

Last night I had a conversation with a new acquaintance. He told me that he had two cats that were about to “burst” (ie give birth). When I asked him why he hadn’t paid his cats, he said, “It’s too expensive.” This man lives alone in a 6,000-square-foot house, owns other acres and collects cars, and yet he wasn’t willing to spend $100 per cat to prevent unwanted births. He said, “It’s not a problem, I give the kittens at the grocery store.” Unfortunately, their attitude and actions are typical and place a huge burden on animal lovers, as well as state and local municipalities that must deal with large populations of unwanted animals. Each year we slaughter between 4 and 10 million domestic companion animals. Most of these are adoptable dogs and cats. In my opinion, overpopulation is preventable. Below are 5 suggestions that could radically change the fate of abandoned and unwanted animals. These “laws” would cost less to implement and enforce and would be much more humane than our current system of maintaining public and private animal shelters.

1. Require a License. Anyone who wants to breed animals (or is too cheap to spay or neuter a pet) will need to purchase a license. The license would cost at least $1,000. A number would be issued and the license would have to be updated annually at a rate determined by the state municipality. Anyone found unlicensed with new offspring of companion animals will be fined $1,000 per litter and all animals will be immediately confiscated and taken to a shelter where they will be spayed, neutered and placed with a responsible guardian (ie. , new owners). If the fine was not paid, it would be attached to the property like a mechanic’s link.

2. Limit how animals can be sold. The sale of all animals would be limited to regulated pet stores. Anyone caught selling an animal on the street, through the newspaper or on the web would be required to do a minimum of 30 days of community service. Pet stores would need to keep an annual record of the number of pets produced by a licensed breeder and submit these records to the state.

3. Breeders would have a specific number of animals that they could produce each year. For example, a breeder may be authorized to sell a total of 50 to 55 dogs to pet stores. Since litter size varies, flexibility would be needed, but the breeder would have a limit. Any breed that did not comply would have its license revoked and all animals would be removed and placed in a shelter for adoption. They couldn’t get a new license. The number of animals available for sale would be based on supply and demand. If the number of animals available were low, breeders and pet store owners could make more money on each pet sold. The people who bought the animal may have to pay more for their pet and are therefore more likely to value and care for it.

4. Cities would be fined by the federal government for failing to capture stray animals. Initially, the federal government would subsidize state and local municipalities so they could add staff to humanely catch stray dogs. Unfortunately, the number of stray animals euthanized during the first two years of this program would be high. The shelters would be very full; however, it would end the cycle and costs of stray and unwanted animals. After the initial apprehension of stray dogs, cities and the state would be responsible for maintaining a no stray dog ​​policy. States that did not comply would be fined by the federal government.

5. Anyone who adopts or purchases an animal will have a 48-hour waiting period. People went to the pet store, searched for a pet, and once they selected a specific pet, they filled out an application and paid a nominal fee. The pet store owner would provide a sheet to the prospective buyer on annual pet care costs and provide a list of breed-specific needs. The buyer would walk away without the animal, and the pet store would run a criminal background check to make sure the buyer was not a prosecuted animal abuser. The pet would be put on hold at the time of request. 2 days later the buyer would have the right to acquire the animal. If the buyer did not show up on the pick-up date, the pet would be dropped from the hold and the pet store would keep the money from the pet application. This would ensure that people buying pets have been informed of what they are getting into.

I realize that these original ideas have many potential problems. Some breeders and people with stray animals would shoot the surplus of any litter or kill animals inhumanely, millions of stray animals would be euthanized and people would break the law. But these tragic events already happen on a daily basis. If we could adopt any of these policies, we could reduce the burden of stray animals on good-hearted people, as well as on federal and state budgets, and put the burden where it belongs: on breeders, pet stores, and the people who care. They refuse to spay or neuter. their farts.

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