dog fosters are needed in virginia
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Dog foster families are needed in Virginia

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Eight-three percent of animals that entered shelters in the United States in 2021 were saved. But 355,000 were euthanized, according to recent data from the Best Friends Animal Society. Half of these animals were euthanized in California, Texas, Florida, North Carolina and Alabama.

While the nationwide save-rate has increased, according to the data, from 64 percent in 2015 and the percentage of no-kill shelters has doubled from 24 percent in 2016 to 52 percent last year, a drop off in adoption behavior was reported.

BFAS’s data reveals the top reason animals are surrendered is because too many animals are in a household. Only 7.2 percent responded that they returned an animal because of financial reasons.

Dogs are surrendered 14.1 percent of the time because of housing issues, while cats are surrendered 22.6 percent of the time because of too many animals.

For the first time in five years, euthanasia of dogs has increased in the U.S. Shelters in Virginia are definitely feeling overwhelmed by the number of animals coming in every day and the lack of adoptions.

Laws against breed discrimination and puppy mills help in the fight to save canine lives in the U.S. While 84 percent of Americans believe the government should not mandate what breeds of dogs they cannot own, 22 states have passed legislation, according to BFAS, that prohibits specific breeds. Only Michigan and Pennsylvania have laws prohibiting breed-based restrictions in homeowner’s insurance. Seven states have legislation restricting the adoption of dogs seized in dogfighting situations.

Since 2002, households with pure-bred dogs have decreased and households with mixed breed dogs have increased. More than 400 laws have been enacted prohibiting the sale of animals from breeding mills.

Yet, some shelters are still having to make decisions to euthanize healthy, adoptable animals. The Charlottesville-Albemarle SPCA, Buckingham County Animal Control and Prince Edward County Animal Care and Control are teaming up to help.

Dog fosters are needed in Virginia to save healthy canines. If you sign up to foster a dog (or two, or three!), the SPCA will provide everything you need, including bedding, food, toys and veterinary care. “A short stay with you could literally save their lives!”

If you can commit to fostering a dog from a local shelter, please email [email protected] or go to https://www.shelterluv.com/matchme/foster/CHO/Dog.

According to BFAS’s data, 67 percent of Americans have fostered or considered fostering a dog.

 

 

 

 

Rebecca Barnabi

Rebecca J. Barnabi is the national editor of Augusta Free Press. A graduate of the University of Mary Washington, she began her journalism career at The Fredericksburg Free-Lance Star. In 2013, she was awarded first place for feature writing in the Maryland, Delaware, District of Columbia Awards Program, and was honored by the Virginia School Boards Association’s 2019 Media Honor Roll Program for her coverage of Waynesboro Schools. Her background in newspapers includes writing about features, local government, education and the arts.