For this proposal, I decided to stick within my theme of animal welfare. Last year, I did a project that was based on puppy mills and how they put dogs in cruel and harsh conditions. As I was reflecting on that project, that lead me to broaden my topic to animal shelters. Even though overcrowding in animal shelters is not a widely publicized current issue, it still proves to be an important matter locally and nationally. This topic is worth addressing because animals that are packed into these crowded shelters often are not treated with proper care. Through thoughtful and detailed evaluation, solutions can be proposed in order to reduce the stress that these crowded shelters are burdened with. This issue can be considered an organizational problem due to the fact that shelters are not taking the right steps to ensure that the animals are properly cared for due to their inability to provide for a large amount of animals. In the research that I have done so far, I read about how overcrowding in animal shelters may lead to the mislabeling of certain breeds of dogs, and to high euthanasia rates. These are just a couple problems among many that occur within these shelters.
This issue falls under my theme of the semester which is Animal Welfare. In my rhetorical analysis I emphasized how animals deserve a voice. This also applies to the issue in shelters because many of these animals do not choose to be rehomed, or to be abandoned. I wanted to continue to educate myself on the issues within animal welfare, and I found that this topic would help me to do so. With this proposal, not only will I be more informed upon the issue at hand, but I will eventually devise a solution to help relieve these animals and the shelters that are impacted by this overcrowding.
The major cause for this issue in animal shelters is the abandonment of animals in communities and cities. This abandonment epidemic results in more strays on the street that are then picked up by animal control. As more and more strays come in off of the street, the shelter begins to reach their full capacity at a rapid rate, and soon enough they will not be able to hold any more animals. Often, this issue results in high euthanasia rates for animals that do not get adopted. In my research I found that many animals can get mislabeled as a different breed and sometimes this results in a lesser chance of being adopted. After this occurs, the animal may face euthanasia. Otherwise, the animal may suffer for the rest of their life in a small space, crammed in with other animals of the shelter.
As a whole, the potential impact on shelters to house many of these stray animals may have unfortunate results for the animals. As more strays enter shelters, there is less room and time for each individual animal to have the one on one time to be properly cared for. This means that the animals will be crammed together within inadequate living spaces, and there would be more room for error among the staff of the shelters. With a constant influx of animals, it is increasingly difficult for the staff of the shelters to keep up with the records of each dog. As I previously mentioned, this can result in the mislabeling of a certain type of breed which could potentially prove to have a grave outcome for the animal.