Overwhelmed Animal Shelters Look for Solutions

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Dogs at an overcrowded shelter in Houston, July 18, 2022. Photo: Brandon Bell/Getty Images
Among the few feel-good developments during the pandemic was the remarkable rate at which Americans brought pets into their homes, emptying cages at animal shelters. Even better was how the trend appeared to survive—at least until now. This summer, facilities in many parts of the country face severe overcrowding, prompting pleas for pet adoptions to avoid the need to euthanize healthy animals. According to the nonprofit Shelter Animals Count, “non-live outcomes” for shelter dogs was 25% higher in the first half of 2023 than during the same period two years ago.

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