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Old 15.08.2011, 02:11
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STS: Animal Welfare Stats 2010

Picking up from another thread, some food for thought from the Schweizer Tierschutz: here are some sobering animal welfare stats for 2010:


My rough translation/paraphrasing:

In 2010, STS shelters took in 27,463 homeless animals; that is an increase of 13% over the previous year. That breaks down to:

12,350 Cats
3850 Dogs, of which 104 were dogs listed under various cantonal BSL
3300 Rabbits, gerbils, hamsters and other small mammals
8000 'Others'. (* I don't know if this includes livestock and/or wild animals, or if it is limited to pets)

95% of those animals were hand-ins by owner or strays.

And what happened to these homeless animals?

18,500 found new homes - that's good news.
3188 were able to go back to their original owners, double the number from the previous year . That's good news, too...
1686 either died or were euthanized. That is heartbreaking.

The rest - some 4000 - are still waiting...

(Bear in mind that these stats reflect animals who have been taken into STS shelters. This may be under reported, as we don't know how many never made it that far...)


So - why so many homeless animals?

STS believes that the main reason is the increasing popularity of pet ownership - in general pets are more readily and cheaply available than before - combined with the ever growing 'disposable society' mentality. It's a paradox: We want pets, but then have few qualms about simply throwing them away when they become inconvenient.

Other reasons (or further explanation of the above):

The number of dogs imported from other countries and put into shelters here.
Dog control laws such as the mandatory SKN classes or BSL - some owners give up their dogs rather than comply.
Increasing population mobility - moving homes, changing jobs, changing partners, changing life circumstances, emigration - too many people take the easy route: get rid of the pet rather than work out a solution.

Yes, I know that we have it relatively good in Switzerland, these numbers pale in contrast to the horrors that go on elsewhere in the world. Still, the report makes for disheartening reading, doesn't it?

So - fellow pet owners and animal lovers: what do you see as that way forward? How do we prevent those 27,463 animals from landing in shelters in the first place, how do we encourage responsible pet ownership in the average person? I'd be very interested in hearing your thoughts...
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Old 15.08.2011, 13:08
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Re: STS: Animal Welfare Stats 2010

Here is some more info on dogs and cats in Switzerland

From here http://www.vhn.ch

If the number of cats grows, then the number of cats which get lost also grows. In an average year 10 000 - 20 000 pets disappear in Switzerland (this is old information, I think now this number should be bigger), and 80% of those lost pets are cats. Maybe promoting microchips would help find a lot of cats.
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Last edited by leonie; 15.08.2011 at 13:31.
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Old 15.08.2011, 13:32
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Re: STS: Animal Welfare Stats 2010

I wonder how many of the steeply rising number of cat owners would have had dogs if it weren't for the rules and regs of having a dog as part of the family. (The at-first-glance match of rise in cats vs decline of dogs would suggest this...)

Perhaps having cats should have some similar requirements - but I guess one of the things that will hold that back is the argument whether cats are better off in or out.

Leonie, I know that dogs are required to be chipped, I believe cats are as well but I am less sure. I know my cat IS chipped (as is my dog, she was chipped with both US and international chips as part of the prelims to bringing her here).

I know that a lot of the problems with cats is that so many outdoor cats are not spayed / neutered and are left to whelp freely. Hubby's grandma used to have some cats on her property which she fed and let go about their business as they kept the rodents at bay. She lived in a home with a good sized field surrounding so the safety was slightly less of a worry, but when she passed, it took some effort to round up all the feral "farm cats" that were there.
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Last edited by Peg A; 15.08.2011 at 13:34. Reason: thought...
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Old 15.08.2011, 13:40
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Re: STS: Animal Welfare Stats 2010

Cats are not required to be chipped. Two of my cats are chipped, and the other two are not.
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