What Can Be Done to Decrease the Number of Animals Needlessly Euthanized? (by Guest Blogger Kim Kosydar)

This post is based on the community work and writing that the author has been doing in WR 122 at Portland Community College.  The piece of public writing is loosely based on a research question and research collection the author developed.  The public writing is a chance to use one’s writing to become part of the larger community dialogue about issues in the chosen theme.

KimBlogPicture1The Public Writing

Staff of the Oregon Legislature

NE 900 Court St.

Salem, OR 97301

RE: Animal Overpopulation

To Whom It May Concern:

While taking a class at Portland Community College I was able to do research regarding the number of animals being euthanized due to overpopulation and overcrowding in animal shelters across the country.  Healthy, innocent animals are being euthanized, fancy word for murdered, because there is just no room for them in shelters.  I think it is time for steps to be taken in helping to save these animals and stop anybody from running a puppy mill.  In 2009 Oregon passed a bill to help regulate puppy mills by lowering the number of dogs they could have and making them provide information to the buyer about where the dogs come from.  I think this state could do better than that.  Animals should not be bred for profit especially in times like this where millions of animals are being euthanized just because of overcrowding.  By allowing puppy mills to continue to operate in Oregon you are becoming a part of the problem, not a part of the solution.

Shelter animals are just as good as pure breeds, if not better, because they understand what it means to be forgotten.  All they want is to have a good home where someone loves them and feeds them.  That is it.  That is all they want.  Puppies born in puppy mills feel this loneliness from the second they are born because they are left in cages until they are bought.  This is no way to treat any living creature.  Did you know that our prison inmates actually have better federal regulations than puppies from puppy mills?  Why do we have to treat murders and rapists better than animals that were born at no fault of their own? It is time that you take the steps to helping solve this outrageous animal problem.  Say no to puppy mills and yes to adoption from shelters.  You have the power to change the way that Oregon views its animals.  We are a great state and by helping innocent, healthy animals it could make us an example for the entire country.  Shelter animals need your help to save their lives and give them the chance to actually live a healthy, active life.

Thank you for taking the time to consider helping shelter animals and putting a stop to puppy mills.  You can make a true difference if you want to.


Kimberly Kosydar: Proud owner of three animals

The Research Question & Collection

Research Question: What can be done to decrease the number of animals brought into this world only to be euthanized?

Balas, Monique. “Pet Talk: Portland-area Shelters Each Play Role in Reducing Euthanasia           Rates.” The Oregonian, 8 Mar 2013. Web. 10 Mar 2013.

Summary:  This article talks about six animal shelters around the Portland, Oregon area that in 2006 decided to set a goal for themselves to reduce the number of healthy animals that were    euthanized.  From 2006 to 2012 the number of animals euthanized at these shelters was reduced by a drastic 65%.  These shelters did everything they could to prevent euthanizing innocent, healthy animals such as moving animals around to different shelters when some became too overcrowded.  This article also gives the reader many ways to get involved themselves and make a difference for the animal community.

Commentary:  I found this article very intriguing and perfect for my research question.  It is nice to know that people in my own area are doing everything they can to help with the number of innocent animals being euthanized.  It is always important for the community to get involved and play a part in the solution so this site talking about several ways to really make a difference is great.  My favorite part of the entire article talks about how the six shelters in this coalition have not euthanized a healthy animal in over two years.  That is showing how to make a true difference.


“Dear Earthtalk: Are as Many Cats and Dogs Being Euthanized These Days as Back in the 1970s            and 1980s When Indiscriminate Breeding Led to Explosions in Pet Populations?”                           EarthTalk: Questions & Answers About Our Environment. A Weekly Column 12 Sept.           2011. Academic OneFile. Web. 10 Mar. 2013.

Summary: This article talks about the extreme decline in the number of animals euthanized over the last 30 to 40 years even though number of animals in shelters has actually more than doubled.  It explains how different animal organizations are working together to keep as many animals from being euthanized as possible.  This site is also very informational because it also talks about the reasons for the animal overpopulation and ways to keep the number of animals born as low as possible.

Commentary:  I like this article for several different reasons.  The main reason this article is perfect for my research question is because it states some of the main reasons why so many animals are in animal shelters today.  I believe the first step in reducing the number of animals euthanized is reducing the number of animals in shelters.  People need to stop buying puppies and kittens for pet stores because most of those animals come from breeding mills, which I believe is another large reason for animal overpopulation.  Like this article states, most animals in shelters were companion pets given up for different states.  These animals need love more than ever.


Tchekmedyian, Alene. “Burbank Votes to Ban Retail Pet Sales.” Los Angeles Times, 31 Jan         2013. Web. 10 Mar 2013.

Summary:  This article is not based around euthanizing animals like the other ones I have used for my research question yet I feel it serves a very strong purpose towards finding a solution for my research question.  This article talks about how Burbank, CA has banned retail pet stores from buying puppies and kittens from breeding mills and instead had required them to obtain their animal from animal shelters or rescues.

Commentary:  This article is a great example of ways to help reduce the number of innocent animals being euthanized.  In my opinion one of the main reasons for so many unwanted animals filling shelters all across the country is because people are still allow to breed animals for profit.  This article is the first story I have read about a city actually taking steps and changing laws to help animals and possibly save their lives in the process. The city is putting the welfare of animals first before profit.


Interlandi, Jeneen. “Even Among Animal Lovers, Killing Unwanted Pets is a Divisive Issue.”       Newsweek, 27 Apr 2008. Web. 9 Mar 2013.

Summary: This article discusses how even the People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) have had issues with animal overcrowding and how they have had no choice but to euthanize animals in the past because of overcrowding. This article also talks about an attorney named Nathan Winograd disagrees with that choice and how he thinks that there is no reason to euthanize any healthy animals. The article continues to go into depth about certain animal shelters around the country that have become no-kill shelters and the number of animals that have been saved. PETA however, is determined to have no-born numbers instead of no-kill numbers and by doing this they are trying to stop the problem before it even begins.

Commentary:  This article is perfect for my research question because it discusses how so many shelters across the country are taking the proper steps in becoming no-kill shelters.  I like to know that shelters are taking proactive steps in stopping the euthanizing death trap for many healthy, innocent animals.  This article also talks about several states and the laws that have changed in those states to help stop the deaths of thousands of healthy animals.  It is encouraging to know that many states recognize that they have such a large animal population; yet they want to fix the problem in the most humane way possible.


Kenny, Krysten. “A Local Approach to a National Problem: Local Ordinances as a Means of      Curbing Puppy Mill Production and Pet Overpopulation.” Albany Law Review Fall          2011: 379+. Academic OneFile. Web. 9 Mar. 2013.

Summary: This article talks about the issues and problems surrounding puppy mills and how the local and state governments could help.  It explains that millions of dogs are bred in puppy mills only for profit yet there are still millions of animals being euthanized at shelters across the country because there is just not enough room for all the dogs found or given up by their owners.  This article gives a background check into puppy mills and explains the simple federal regulations that they must follow, although many do not.

Commentary:  I think this article is the type of evidence I need for my research question.  I have always had a huge problem with puppy mills because, let’s face it, they are the real problem so many animals are bred.  They do not care about the welfare of any of the animals, only the money being put into their pockets.  If puppy mills were shut down for good it would be a huge break in the animal overpopulation problem.  It would give shelters animals a real chance at getting a good home instead of being euthanized because they take up too much space.  Animals should not be bred for profit which this article empathizes over and over again.



  1. Kim, my friend, I like you plog a lot and the reaserch you did on puppy mills which should not exist in this planet. According to wikipedia there are over 4,000 puppy mill in the United States that produce more than half a million puppies a year, I believe like you that the Goverment shoudn’t license this commercial kennels. They have bad conditions for the poor animals so they can profit more money. This is so sad, as you said there a lot of animal shelters that will benefits from adoption and maybe from Goverment help. I see that you also have an article to point out a lot of people in many states agree with us to help shelters and to close puppy mills but it seem everyone should do more,more for every single animal who needs a home.
    Kim I know you for a long time and I am glad you are my friend your writing inspires me.I wasn’t aware of this big problem (I had to goggle two word in your writing because of my english ) but I would like to know more on you topic. I wish we can make a different but I think you just did by writing this eye opening report. Excellent job my friend.Everyone who read this thoughfully writing will enjoy it like I did.

  2. Molly


    I’ve enjoyed watching your writing evolve throughout the term! We both focused on animals, and in our culminating projects, we ended up focusing on a similar issue. I did so much research with cats that I found it very interesting to see all of the research you did with dogs. I particularly enjoyed how much emotion you put into your letter that you wrote. The amount of passion you have relating to this issue was clearly visible in your writing.

    I think that you have a good range of information from your research. I like that you started off with a source that provided evidence of decreasing euthanizations in Oregon. Because your letter is directed to someone within Oregon, it is very effective to provide information that relates directly to us. One thing that could have been a little helpful would be to provide just a short summary on exactly what a puppy mill is.

    Over all, great job!
    Molly Tyler

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