METRO DETROIT — Here’s a number to keep in mind on National Adopt A Shelter Pet Day on Sunday: 11,172. That’s the number of cats and dogs shelters in Michigan took in during the first three months of the year.
The national database Shelter Animals Count keeps a running tally of abandoned and surrendered pets, based on reports from local shelters around the country. Euthanasia rates are rising with the increase in the number of cats and dogs that wind up in shelters.
In some cases, the rate at which healthy dogs and cats are put down has more than doubled, according to a Scripps News Service investigation by reporters Clayton Sandell and Rachel Gold earlier this year.
Nationally, 1,267 shelters took in 454,233 cats and dogs from Jan. 1-March 31, according to the shelter census. About 50,380 were euthanized or did not survive for other reasons.
In Michigan, 34 organizations reported they took in 11,172 cats and dogs from Jan. 1 to March 31. Of that number, 1,952 were euthanized or did not survive for other reasons.
Organizations in metro Detroit took in the most dogs and cats. In Wayne County, six organizations rescued 2,113 dogs and cats (1,424 dogs and 689 cats). In Oakland County, four organizations rescued 1,860 dogs and cats (940 cats and 920 dogs).
The number of cats and dogs taken in at animal shelters reached a high for the year in March, according to the Shelter Animals Count report. The actual number is likely much higher, as only about half of the nation’s 3,500 animal shelters filed intake reports.
In March, about 60,000 of the cats and dogs taken in by shelters were strays, but about 45,000 of them were surrendered by their owners.
According to the Scripps investigation, the reasons euthanasia rates are increasing are complex, ranging from logistical problems like a lack of space and staffing to decreasing demand for pets with the end of pandemic restrictions and the cost of keeping a pet amid high inflation.
“As people have returned to normal, and animals are staying behind,” Stephanie Filer, the CEO of Shelter Animals Count, told the Scripps reporters. “And so that whole system has essentially bottlenecked.”
National Adopt A Shelter Pet Day is an informal observance every year on April 30 to raise awareness of the million of cats, dogs and other pets waiting for adoption.
The Humane Society of Huron Valley in Wayne County asked for blanket and towel donations after they ran through all their towels and blankets last week. The shelter also created an Amazon wishlist for people who cannot donate in-person.
Here are other metro Detroit shelters shelters with pets up for adoption:
- Advanced Petcare of Oakland – 6378 Sashabaw Rd., Clarkston, 248-620-2900
- Allen Animal Hospital – 19066 Farmington Rd, Livonia,
- Animal Medical Center of Troy – 994 W. South Blvd., Rochester Hills, 248-852-9800
- Auburn Animal Hospital – 1619 E. Auburn Rd, Rochester Hills, 248-852-566
- The Cat Practice – 875 S. Worth, Birmingham, 248-540-3390
- Michigan Humane – 7887 Chrysler Dr, Detroit, 866-648-6263
- Michigan Humane – 900 N Newburgh Rd, Westland, 866-648-6263
- Taylor animal shelter – 25555 Northline Rd, Taylor, 734-374-1354
- Wayne Animal Shelter – 4000 Biddle St, Wayne,