Help Me Find a Home (by Hannah Pike, 11936)

Research Question: Why do so many animals get killed every year and how can we stop this issue from happening?

hannah.pike1-doggiesOver my volunteer work I have seen the biggest issue being too many animals and not enough families. My volunteer work has been solely at a shelter called the Pixie Project. Their overall goal is to take in animals that have been homeless or rescued and care for them until a new family is ready to adopt them. This was something very important to me because I rescued my dog Koda and I think it’s so important to take the steps to stop breeding and start rescuing. Animals die every minute because there is no family to take them in. This is a big issue in our community and needs to be dealt with. I’ve written about this in the past but this time I want to take a different view and focus on why this is one of the biggest issues when it comes to our community and the steps we can take to fix it.

The first thing I learned when I started volunteering at the pixie project was how common it is for animals to not be adopted and have to be put down. I always knew it was a common issue but never realized the depth of it until I started this class and focused more on animals in my community. During my first paper I wrote about this issue but didn’t get into more about the issue that I wanted to. The pixie project helps animals that are from off the streets get homes. Homeless animals are everywhere and the reason for that is endless. Someone couldn’t afford to keep them so unfortunately just drops them off places this is called dumping pets, the owner is homeless themselves and those dogs don’t always get the treatment they deserve, and people simply don’t understand the commitment it takes to own and pet and end up having to give them up.

There are many places around the world that try and help these animals find homes but breeding makes the issue even harder. Out of an average of 30 million animals a year 1 out of 10 finds a permanent home. (1) Even ones that find a home don’t always find a family who is a fit for them. Many dogs get sent back to shelters or humane societies because they aren’t ready for that commitment. That is something that I learned at the pixie project as well which is they want the families to be serious about adoption and making sure they are ready for the lifelong commitment.

Breeding is one of leading causes of homeless animals. There is something called a puppy mill which is a place that produces big groups and dogs to sell (2). This is an issue because theses animals to have set homes and they are going to be bought first before these animals who needs a home immediately. It is important for everyone to inform each other and read about these issues. If we learn the knowledge ourselves we can go out and help fight the cause.

How to Get Involved

There are many ways to get involved with animals but the two main ones I believe are most important and most possible for people to accomplish are prevention and Volunteer work. Prevention can mean taking the steps to get your animal spayed/neutered. This will stop animals from breeding and overpopulation. Like I said before breeding is a huge issue that just keeps adding dogs and cats into this world when there are already to many here today. Another way to be involved in some sort of volunteer work. There are many places here and around Portland that love volunteers to help them make these animals life’s better. I am currently a volunteer at the pixie project in Portland and that has taught me a lot. Along with teaching me many things it helps these animals get though this tough time while waiting for their longtime family. Lastly next time you choose to get a dog or cat, think about adoption. It is such an important role you can play in helping change that huge number of pets who die every year.

How to Get Informed: Read Here 

  1. “The Homeless Animal Population.  What’s the Problem?” HSCI. Web. 4 Mar. 2015. <;. This webpage helped me with some facts about how many animals go through this process for adoption and how the animals get led to adoption. It connects back to my research questions by posting facts about how breeding is affecting our community. Also how many animals get brought into this world and majority of them don’t ever get a permanent family.
  2. Burger, Kailey A. “Solving the Problem of Puppy Mills: Why the Animal Welfare Movement’s Bark Is Stronger than Its Bite.” Washington University Journal of Law & Policy 43 (2013): 259. Academic OneFile. Web. 11 Mar. 2015. <|A358426598&v=2.1&u=pcc&it=r&p=AONE&sw=w&asid=50cc25765efcc5d1882bfa735fd07bcd>. This article helped me more of the overall view on doggy mills and how that plays a role in animals that get out down for overpopulation.


  1. Hannah,

    I just wanted to start out by saying that I really enjoyed reading your blog. Animal abandonment and neglect is just as horrible as when it happens to children. It’s amazing how often as I am looking through Facebook or just on Google, how many times I come across videos of animals being abused, but also amazing videos of animals being rescued. Just yesterday I watched a video (you may have even seen it) of two men who found a dog stuck in a crate, in which the dog actually tried to chew his way out of. One of the men took the dog home and took him to the vet and even nursed him back to health. He was originally going to try to give him away, but grew close and ended up keeping him. Him and his family already had 3 rescue dogs, so he decided he couldn’t part with him, which actually is leading the guy to open a foster care at his home for dogs.
    Just this little act of kindness led him to further his service and help other dogs in need.

    Too many people think, “Oh, cute a new puppy in the family” when in reality animals aren’t pets or accessories, they are family. My husband and I didn’t rescue our three year old dog, but we have plans to rescue our next one! When we got our puppy, we also ended up buying our puppies brother for his sister and her family. By the time he was one his sister had sent him to the shelter (where he was most likely put down because he was part pit/lab, we all know how people are with pits). Unfortunately at the time my husband and I weren’t able to take him which was really hard for us too do. So even sometimes dogs who are bought originally from a breeder become one of those statistics of becoming a rescue dog.

    I really enjoyed the links that you shared. Although the first link didn’t direct me to the page and actually would bring up an error, but I just typed the article into Google and was able to bring up the exact spot and get a chance to read the section. It was shocking to read that only one out of ten of dogs or cats will find a home while the rest are put out or even put down. In this article I liked that it gave a perspective of the lack of commitment, getting pets for the wrong reason, overcrowding of shelters, etc. As well as the second article, I really liked reading that one because it really brought you inside of puppy mills and the lack of discipline that the laws have for it and how even though they specific regulations that it is very easy for people to go around that. Both of these articles shed some light on breeders, and the lack of knowledge that most people don’t have about animals in need.

  2. Susie

    Hi Hannah!
    I wholeheartedly agree that if you make the choice to get a pet you need to understand that is a commitment that you are making for the lifetime of the pet. Our family rescued an 8 year old black lab 6 years ago, and had to put her down a year ago. Katie was the sweetest dog and great with our kids. We truly could not have gotten any luckier. We have not gotten a new pet because at this point in our lives we are too busy to give a dog the attention it requires or deserves. We have been very cognizant in what we are able to offer to a pet at this time. Don’t get me wrong, we would LOVE to have a dog, but we just don’t have the space or time right now. We are thinking about what a dog requires and needs versus what we want. You have to do that when you get a pet. You are adding a family member to the family. You need to have the time and ability to take care of it, if you don’t you shouldn’t get one. I feel like older dogs have a harder time getting adopted because everybody LOVES puppies. Older dogs have more to offer though. you don’t have to house break and they aren’t as hyper. We got Katie at the point where she was just content hanging out at home and sniffing around the property. There was no need to run her all around to expend the energy. Sometimes older dogs fit better into your lifestyle than a puppy. When our family decides it is time to get another pet, we will most definitely be going to a shelter to pick out our new family member. Thank you so much for speaking out on this topic, I think more people need to be educated on what happens to pets when they no longer fir into an owner’s lifestyle.

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