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If you're thinking pets make good gifts: STOP RIGHT THERE.

December 6, 2007 - Amy Jo Hanna
Mirror staff writer Jimmy Mincin did an article on "Critters for Christmas" on December 3. (click here if you missed it)

If there is a good chance your gift is going to be exchanged anyway, what makes you think a person wants to take on the burden of caring for a living, breathing, fully dependent creature?

While a soft, cuddly kitten, puppy or rabbit, wiley ferret, exotic fish or talking birds, etc. may sound like a creative gift give these statistics a bit more thought first:

From the Humane Society of the United States
OVERPOPULATION ESTIMATES


Number of cats and dogs entering shelters each year:
6-8 million (HSUS estimate)

Number of cats and dogs euthanized by shelters each year:
3-4 million (HSUS estimate)

Number of cats and dogs adopted from shelters each year:
3-4 million (HSUS estimate)

Number of cats and dogs reclaimed by owners from shelters each year:
Between 600,000 and 750,000 -- 30% of dogs and 2-5% of cats entering shelters (HSUS estimate)

Number of animal shelters in the United States:
Between 4,000 and 6,000 (HSUS estimate)

Percentage of dogs in shelters who are purebred:
25% (HSUS estimate)

Average number of litters a fertile cat can produce in one year: 3

Average number of kittens in a feline litter: 4-6

Average number of litters a fertile dog can produce in one year: 2

Average number of puppies in a canine litter: 6-10

 
 

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