AN­I­MAL OVER­POP­U­LA­TION

FLUX Hawaii - - TABLE OF CONTENTS - TEXT BY LISA YA­MADA IL­LUS­TRA­TIONS BY MICHELLE GANEKU

Each year, more than 7.6 mil­lion an­i­mals across the United States en­ter shel­ters. Of th­ese, ap­prox­i­mately 31 per­cent of dogs (1.2 mil­lion) and 41 per­cent of cats (1.4 mil­lion) are even­tu­ally eu­th­a­nized. Hear­ing this statis­tic can be heart­break­ing for any quadruped-lov­ing biped, and most cer­tainly for the es­ti­mated 60 per­cent of O‘ahu home­own­ers whose fam­i­lies in­clude a pet. Al­though Hawai‘i’s many shel­ters do their best to al­le­vi­ate an­i­mal over­pop­u­la­tion, the fa­cil­i­ties can barely keep up: lim­ited-ad­mis­sion, some­times known as “no-kill” cen­ters, like O‘ahu So­ci­ety for the Preven­tion of Cru­elty to An­i­mals, may be faced with the dif­fi­cult choice to turn away an­i­mals be­cause of space, while open-ad­mis­sion shel­ters like the Hawai­ian Hu­mane So­ci­ety, which ac­cepts 100 per­cent of an­i­mals re­gard­less of con­di­tion—the only one to do so on O‘ahu—may have to eu­th­a­nize an­i­mals that are deemed un­adopt­able due to fac­tors like ag­gres­sion or ill­ness. As the largest an­i­mal wel­fare and pro­tec­tion char­i­ta­ble or­ga­ni­za­tion in the state, the Hawai­ian Hu­mane So­ci­ety took in 23,876 an­i­mals, or 65 per day, with 31 per­cent adopted, in 2015. It is only when we, as a com­mu­nity, come to­gether to chip away at this seem­ingly in­sur­mount­able prob­lem that an­i­mal over­pop­u­la­tion can be put down for good.

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