The problem with pet overpopulation is simple yet so difficult to solve. In Danville alone, we have 5,000 unwanted pets which is the same amount as last year. Unwanted pets include pets at the animal shelters. Some people take their pets to the animal shelters because they do not want to take care of them anymore. Some of the unwanted pets are running astray because people let their dogs loose and don’t want to take care of them anymore.

Each year we have seen an increase in unwanted pets which is alarming when the solution to solving this problem is simple. Let’s take a look at a scenario: We start with two dogs, one that lives in Danville and another that lives in Pennsylvania County. Both dogs get bred and have five puppies each for a total of ten dogs. Dogs can go into heat every six months and can potentially have two litters a year with as many as ten puppies. Within a year these puppies can be bred and have litters of their own of say another five puppies. If you have been keeping up we’re up to fifty dogs!

This example is a smaller scale and it is safe to say that in both Danville and Pennsylvania County there are actually around two hundred dogs that are running around and can get pregnant. This can lead to five thousand unwanted pets in both the city and the county. This happens quickly and easily and it is difficult to implement our solution with so many unwanted pets.

We now have roughly five thousand unwanted pets in shelters that arrived this year. We now have to worry about the cost to take care of these dogs, to walk them, to get their vaccines and eventually find them a home. For this example let’s say we can do all this for $100 which is highly unlikely as the cost is probably closer to $300-$500 a dog. If it is $100 a dog, we need $500,000 a year to spend on unwanted pets alone. It is safe to say that the shelters, the cities, and the counties do not have this money and donations are not going to be able to cover this cost. The question we want to answer is how much money would it take to stop the problem at its root and make sure the first group of dogs do not have puppies?

The answer is it costs nothing. It costs zero dollars if you can keep your dog from becoming pregnant. You don’t even have to spay or neuter them if you keep them on a leash, keep them in your house, or keep them confined, but if you do let your dog run around outside you should have them spayed or neutered. If we are able to do our spay and neuter program for $100 we’re only talking about $20,000 instead of the original $500,000. This is a cost that the humane society and the pet center can cover. It comes down to personal responsibility to spay or neuter our pets and to control the pet population. If we never let our dogs breed we won’t have the problem of overpopulation. The other thing we can do is support the Pennsylvania Pet Center, the Danville Area Humane Society, and SPCAs because they can’t do it alone. If we take responsibility and avoid shifting the responsibility to the shelters we can eliminate this problem easily.

Call the Pennsylvania Pet Center or the Danville Area Humane Society because they have lots of programs for spays and neuters and other ways to help. If you are looking for a new dog, go to the shelters and adopt, and if we all take care of our pets we can eliminate pet overpopulation.