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Why do pets end up in shelters?

Updated: Apr 20, 2021

Pets are relinquished to shelters for reasons related to the owner’s circumstances at roughly a ratio of 2 to 1 as compared to reasons specific to the animal. Unlike what many may believe, the animal’s behavior is not a leading reason for surrender.

While euthanasia* is the most frequently cited reason for surrendering a pet, three other human-related reasons—housing (specifically moving), financial and owner health/death—account for 37% of all shelter surrenders.


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