In 2021, 61,425 cats and dogs that waited for an owner in shelters were killed in Texas. The reasons why shelters euthanized animals were food shortage, low budgets, and most of all, the community’s lack of interest according to Best Friends Org.
Although this figure may seem a lot, the saving rate in animal shelters in Texas is 80,8%, which represents 428,230 furry friends that were saved from the 596,730 that entered.
The save rate average in the whole country is 83%, Texas is one of the states below this figure and it’s one of the five states that account for half of all cats and dogs killed in the U.S, according to Best Friends Org.
Best Friends Org is aiming to convert Texas to a no-kill state in the future. What does no-kill mean? When shelters only recur to euthanasia when it’s the better option for the animal.
In a big state like Texas, there are counties like Harris that have more than a 95% saving rate, but there is still a long way to go for the state. In an interview with the Houston Chronicle, Brent Toellner, senior director of lifesaving programs for Best Friends Animal Society said about the goal set for Texas:
“While the shelters are doing very well in terms of saving rates, they are feeling overwhelmed. Most of them are running at 50 percent or so above capacity, particularly for dogs and it is creating a big drain for those folks that are trying to find positive outcomes.”
What can we do about it? Best Friends Org recommends adoption and involvement in shelter maintenance. The organization is working with stakeholders and welfare organizations to prevent these killings, especially for cats, which represented 63% of the killed animals last year.
They also recommend ending breed discrimination. One of the main reasons why people won’t adopt is because there aren’t dogs of the breed they were looking for. 22 states have passed provisions against breed discrimination, Texas is one of them.
One of the good news is that in 2020 there were more dogs from mixed breeds (54%) than purebred dogs in American houses (49%). Best Friends Org also recommends supporting pet-friendly laws, fostering, and volunteering to be involved in the solution of this problem.