We need to talk about the global problem of pet homelessness

Our relationship with our pets is a special kind of love. Pets are family, pets are dear friends, and pets provide love and support as well as companionship. Adding a dog or cat to your life can bring physical, emotional and social benefits, as many studies attest. Pets can also help relieve stress, anxiety, and loneliness.

Despite the bond between pets and humans, not all dogs and cats will find their “forever home”. In fact, the number of pets in the world living on the streets is devastating and staggering. Across the continents, there are millions of cats and dogs with inadequate food and care.

According to Mars Petcare’s new State of Pet Homelessness Index, there are 231 million homeless cats and dogs in the 9 countries of Europe, North America, Asia and Africa that the index measures currently.

Homeless pets are not only those found on the streets, but also pets that have been returned to shelters and rescues, which have not received sustained human care and companionship. This includes 219 million homeless cats and dogs living in shelters in countries like India, Mexico, Germany, the United States and the United Kingdom.

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End pet roaming is March Petcarebold ambition. The company has served the health and nutrition needs of companion animals around the world for more than 85 years and its portfolio includes domestic brands such as Banfield ™, Pedigree®, Whiskas® and Royal Canin®.

“As we continue to navigate an extraordinary global health crisis, for many of us, pets have undeniably been indispensable companions throughout it all. At Mars Petcare, we know that pets make our lives better and the record number of people turning to pet ownership during this time might agree, ”said Helen Mills, Vice President global corporate affairs and sustainability at Mars Petcare.

Until now, there has been no consistent way to measure and track the progress of various initiatives to reduce the number of cats and dogs on the streets or in shelters. Mars Petcare launched the State of Pet Homelessness Index in collaboration with animal welfare experts to measure the extent of cat and dog roaming by country. For the first time, there is a clearer picture of the extent of the problem and how it is manifesting in the world.

This collects data from over 200 global and local sources to measure the problem of pet homelessness by country, which in turn can help animal welfare groups and businesses like ours identify actions practices to solve this problem around the world and to help see what works – and what doesn’t.

Around the world, millions of cats and dogs stay in shelters or live on the streets. We believe they deserve more and tackling this issue is at the heart of our goal: A Better World for Pets. So we set out to understand the scale of the problem as a critical first step. That’s why we’ve partnered with leading animal welfare experts and organizations to develop the State of Pet Homelessness Index, ”says Mills.

“Now, with the initial data for nine countries, we have a clearer picture of homeless pet populations and an overview of the most important underlying issues by country, as well as a way to track effectiveness. interventions over time. By working to define the scale of the problem and understand the root causes of homeless pets on a more granular level, we hope this will have a profound impact on the problem. Because the world we want tomorrow is a world where no pets are homeless.

So what’s the next step? The data collected in the index can now be used by animal welfare organizations, policy makers and researchers to help better understand pet roaming in their countries. and ensuring that all pets receive the care they deserve, throughout their lives.

You can learn more about the Pet Homelessness Index by visiting endpethomelessness.com.

Pet Homelessness Index Data provided by Mars Petcare.

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