An Ongoing Battle

Euthanasia rates have decreased, but there's still room for improvement.

By Bernadette Kazmarski

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I am on the e-mail list for the Western Pennsylvania Human Society in Pittsburgh, an "open-door" shelter that accepts any cat, dog and even certain exotic pets brought to its door. Typically, these e-mails include news about upcoming events and charming photos of cats, dogs and bunnies up for adoption; they're an excellent way for the shelter to keep in touch with donors and adopters. But the one I received on August 15, 2007, was instead a distress call.

"During the first 14 days of August, we have had 807 animals come through our doors, which averages 57.6 animals per day surrendered," wrote Gretchen Fieser, director of public and business relationships at the shelter, in the e-mail. "[By the end of the month] the Western Pennsylvania Humane Society's two facilities have received 1,590 animals (1,131 cats, 388 dogs and 71 exotic pets) ... averaging 53 animals per day brought to our shelters for care and possible adoption," wrote Lee Nesler, the shelter's executive director, in the fall newsletter.

**Get the June 2008 issue of CAT FANCY to read the full article.**

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