Nationally, approximately fifty percent of animals that enter animal control or shelter facilities are euthanized, with one-third euthanized due solely to lack of shelter space. In real world numbers, this translates into the horrifying reality that on every single day of last year, 2,500 healthy, adoptable animals lost their lives for no reason other than the facility they landed in was overcrowded.
With regards to giant breed dogs, the euthanasia rate is even higher. Most shelters operate with a limited number of large kennel spaces. Since the majority of shelter adopters are looking for a puppy or smaller dog, big dogs are less likely to be adopted. This means that giant breeds are an especially vulnerable population.
Despite the growing number of independent animal welfare organizations, a 2010 study reported that although 25 percent of dogs in shelters are purebred, only 1% of all shelter dogs are transferred to breed-specific rescues. This pitiable number is the result of two factors:
Shelters are not aware of breed-specific rescues working in their area or do not have the capacity to engage in rescue outreach.
Breed-specific rescues are constantly operating over-capacity, with few resources and insufficient volunteer participation. As a result, even when they are contacted by shelters, many rescues are forced to turn away dogs, especially harder-to-place dogs, like seniors and those requiring long-term rehabilitation.
The Bullpen is striving to shift that paradigm. By providing an innovative, multi-pronged program wherein we facilitate communication between rescues and shelters, provide high-quality alternatives to organizations and their rescued animals, and increase animal retention among current pet owners via education and outreach, we believe we can make a difference.