In the United States, there are approximately 78 million dogs and 85.8 million cats (ASPCA, n.d.). According to the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA), 44% of all households in the United States have a dog and 35% have cats (ASPCA, n.d.). Currently, there exists no government institution mandated with the tabulation of national statistics on animal protection. However, according to ASPCA, more than 6.5 million companion animals are housed in animal shelters across the country (ASPCA, n.d.). This comprises 3.3 million and 3.2 million dogs and cats respectively (ASPCA, n.d.).
Also, due to the increasing number of animals whose owners cannot be traced, about 670,000 dogs and 860,000 dogs are euthanized every year (ASPCA, n.d.). Although has sparked public interest, it is justified by the public danger posed by wandering and unrestrained animals. However, with increased adoption of unclaimed animals by willing individuals, the number of pets subjected to euthanasia is expected to decrease.
Due to the ineffective tracking system that involves physically identifying animals or seeking information friends, of the 6.5 million pets taken to animal shelters every year, only 710,000 are returned to their owners (ASPCA, n.d.). The rationale for this is that the animal attendants do not have a method of tracing the owners and they only rely on physical identification. Some owners may not take the initiative of visiting the shelters to identify their pets while some fears that the animals may have been euthanized. It is also worth noting that some pets may warder a long way from home and may end up in shelters that their owners would not think of visiting.
In addition to the inability of the owners to trace their animals in a given locality, the lack of a centralized system that can help in the identification of animals regardless of how long they have wandered from home makes the repossession process more difficult (ASPCA, n.d.). Moreover, the few animals that are recovered by their owners has sparked a wave of lethargy in that a significant number of people do not make considerable efforts to look for their pets since they are aware that that the chances tracing them are minimal.