is a continuing effort in the United States to keep pet populations under
control. In fact, there are many more pets than there are homes available
for them. Cats and dogs can reproduce at an alarming rate. When considering
a pair of cats in combination with their offspring can produce an estimated
400,000 kittens in a seven-year period, this is clearly no small problem.
Promoting responsible pet ownership is one way to combat this problem.
One major issue to be addressed is the abandonment of pets. Many animals
are given up or left behind when their owners move or no longer want
to care for them. This is often because full consideration isn't given
to the long-term needs of a pet.
Abandoned cats are a major cause for the development of the feral cat
population. These are essentially domestic cats that have become wild.
They are not suited to live in the wild, yet breed so quickly that their
numbers continue to increase. Another factor is irresponsible breeding.
In most cases when there isn't a strong reason to breed an animal, it
is best the pet be spayed or neutered. The battle to control the pet
population in many ways is a battle of numbers. Even one litter can potentially
lead to thousands of new pets. In real terms, having your pet fixed may
save the lives of thousands of animals that otherwise would not have
Local shelters play an important role controlling pet population. Supporting
no-kill shelters is a great way to for homeless animals to be adopted.
Animals from shelters often make wonderful pets. Donating, volunteering,
or fostering a pet are also great ways to help these shelters and provide
them with the ability to help pet overpopulation. There are also programs
to help the feral cat population. Many places now have a catch and release
program, where feral cats are fixed then released to help keep the numbers
of homeless animals down. Individual efforts to help control overpopulation,
such as helping a pet find a home, having your pet fixed, or talking
to others about pet overpopulation can have a significant impact.