In Utah, there are some troubling statistics. The number of dogs and cats killed in our state due to a lack of homes nearly doubled from 2021 to 2022. In 2020, 829 homeless dogs and cats were euthanized. In 2021, it was 886. Last year it jumped to 1,700.
Nick Lippincott, Senior Manager of Life Savings Program at Best Friends Animal Society came on the Utah Stories podcast to discuss this statistic as well as the best ways to help animals in the beehive state.
“One of the big focuses of my job specifically is finding positive outcomes that shelters maybe can’t always find on their own for some of the animals in their care,” Lippincott said.
Best Friends mission is to help reduce the unnecessary killing of dogs and cats across the country. “The reality is right now we are facing a national shelter crisis. That’s just the reality,” Lippincott said.
Lippincott explained that when asked what they can do to help, people usually resort to adoption first, which, although it is extremely important, isn’t the only solution. He said that fostering is one of the most impactful ways to help shelters, and is sometimes more impactful than adoption. The majority of Best Friends animals are in the foster care system.
Another way to help is to volunteer at the shelter by walking dogs, cleaning kennels, making blankets, etc. If none of that fits your schedule, donating also makes a huge difference.
“We are in a shelter crisis”, Lippincott reflected. “The amount of homes is not meeting the amount of animals that are showing up.”
The pandemic definitely contributed to the current shelter crisis that Utah is facing, along with the rest of the country and the world. Many shelters were closed or limited for the duration. Housing is also a factor as it becomes less affordable and accessible.
Microchipping is another solution that helps save animals’ lives. “I think the benefit of microchipping is above almost anything else that we can provide next to maybe spay and neuter,” Lippincott said.
Utah has 60 brick and mortar shelters, and due to overpopulation, they are at double their normal capacity. Please consider, fostering, adopting, volunteering, and donating to Best Friends.