- Please Help Us Help Them, This Holiday Season -

Sad Facts About Orphan Pets


More than 7 million companion animals enter animal shelters nationwide every year.

Approximately 3 million to 4 million of these animals are euthanized (60% of dogs and 70% of cats) every year – that’s approximately one every eight seconds.

Shelter intakes are fairly evenly divided between those animals relinquished by owners and those picked up by animal control.

Five out of ten dogs in shelters and seven out of ten cats in shelters are euthanized simply because there is no one to adopt them.

There are between 4,000 and 6,000 animal shelters in the United States.

Only 10 percent of the animals received by shelters have been spayed or neutered.

Positive Facts about Pets Ownership and Making a Difference

We can actively reduce the number of homeless pets in shelters by adopting and encouraging our friends and families to adopt a pet this holiday season. Bringing a new pet into your life and home is an important decision so please make sure you do your research: talk to friends and family who are pet owners so you can be sure you/your family find the best pet match.

If your heart is set on adopting a purebred dog, it’s important to know that 25 percent of the dogs available for adoption in shelters are purebreds. There are also a lot of breed‐specific rescue groups from which people can adopt. 

Spaying and neutering your pet is another very important step you can take to end the number of lives lost each year. 

The average cost of basic food, supplies, medical care and training for a dog or cat is only $700 to $875 annually – about the cost of a daily cup of coffee.

Nearly 1.3 million orphan pets were placed in forever homes between Oct. 1, 2012 and Jan. 2, 2013 as a result of last year’s “Home 4 the Holidays” pet adoption drive. The 2012/2013 season brought together thousands of animal organizations around the world for the shared goal of getting as many animals placed over the holidays as possible.

“We celebrate the fact that in just three months we helped save the lives of almost 1.3 million animals,” said Mike Arms, founder of the adoption drive and President of Helen Woodward Animal Centre. “We're proud of the work we've done and we're especially proud of the hard work the partner organizations continue to do every day.” 

This year’s campaign aims to grow that number even higher through effective marketing and key media relationships. By way of education and outreach, “Home 4 the Holidays” encourages those considering a pet to adopt from their local animal organization rather than purchasing a pet from a backyard breeder, puppy mill, or pet store. 

“Home 4 the Holidays” succeeds in reaching several important goals because it helps find orphaned animals a loving, adoptive home; it educates the public about adopting from an animal organization; and lastly it provides animal organizations of all sizes all around the world with important marketing information and guidance, as well as tools for implementing media events and activities. 

We are also excited to announce our new partnership with the quality pet food company Blue Buffalo.   This company has stepped forward to join Home 4 the Holidays and support shelters in their efforts to help pets find their new forever home.  With their support, and all of us working together, we look forward to another exciting and successful year. 

More than 8.3 million pets have been placed in forever homes since Helen Woodward Animal Centre, along with thousands of animal organizations across the globe partnered to do something about shelter overpopulation when the program first started in 1999.  Yet, even with the program’s incredible growth, we aim for higher numbers and more involvement. We look forward to this 2013-2014 season of working together toward the loving placement of homeless pets, and we will not stop until every orphaned animal is finally “Home 4 the Holidays". 

To Learn More, and To Find a Participating Home 4 The Holidays Animal Shelter in Your Area, Please Visit:


To read more of Ed's wonderful stories, poems and articles, please click here:


Dogs Come when Called

"Dogs come when called. Cats take a message and get back to you."

"Of course, every cat is really the most beautiful woman in the room."

Edward Verrall Luca (essayist)

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