The floors are damp and grey, the walls are peeling with yellow soil marks at the corners, and the air smells of heated urine and wet dog. I have been in many shelters that look and smell like this. The Montgomery County Animal Shelter in Houston is packed full of homeless cats and dogs.
There are three full rooms of puppies, medium-sized dogs, and adult, large dogs. There is one full room filled with rows of caged cats, reaching from the bottom of the walls to the top of the ceiling. Most of these cats have forgotten how to walk because of the long amounts of time they have spent here. There are some cats that have been there for years without walking on the ground.
There is a room filled with sick dogs, and another room filled with sick cats. They have just enough room to place small kittens in birdcages in the hallway.
The shelter just does not have enough money, help, or time to give attention to these creatures. They just have enough to provide minimal medical treatment and space.
• The United States has around four million homeless animals put down each year, which is one every eight seconds.
• Out of these animals, 60 percent are dogs and 70 percent are cats.
• 5 million to 6 million animals are placed in animal shelters every year.
• Only 10 percent of the animals that enter the shelters are spayed or neutered.
• Five out of ten dogs and seven out of ten cats are destroyed just because shelters could not find homes for them.
• Only 10 to 20 percent of cats and dogs are purchased from animal shelters.
Shelters do not receive enough money to provide these animals with a decent chance.
Norman, Oklahoma, has passed a bill that calls for a new animal shelter to be built in Norman. Citizens voted for this on November eighth.
I have been in shelters that resemble the current Norman animal shelter. They are too small, and they are extremely filthy. Diseases spread quickly because of this. Dogs and cats are packed on top of each other, whether sick or healthy. They don’t get baths, and they sleep in their feces and urine. The Norman animal shelter has a problem with their drainage system so its facility has a bigger excrement problem.