This article originally appeared on PETA Prime.
Each year, millions of lost and unwanted dogs and cats end up at animal shelters across the U.S. Half of those animals must be euthanized because of simple math: There are too many animals and not enough good homes. This overpopulation crisis is a national disgrace. While I take some comfort in knowing that animal shelters are at least able to give these animals a humane death as an alternative to starvation, disease, or abuse, I would much prefer to focus on some of the real roots of the problem–pet stores and breeders, and barriers to spaying and neutering.
We have a moral obligation to end the overpopulation crisis in order to reduce the number of unwanted homeless dogs and cats. When people buy animals from breeders and pet stores instead of adopting from animal shelters, they deny a needy animal a chance at a good home. As long as people support a market that treats dogs and cats as profit-generating commodities, we will struggle with the overpopulation crisis.