A bloody, flesh-torn mixed Retriever female was standing alongside a busy intersection. Cars racing by on a crowded Monday morning, commuters trying to get to work on time, all seeing the poor maimed dog but too late for work to stop and do anything about it.

With four puppies waiting for this mommy Retriever to find food and come back to the hole underneath the overpass to nurse them, time had run out. It's been three days since she had left and due to her injury by a hit-and-run vehicle, she will not be returning.

The puppies will starve. The entire family lost…

This sad story is not an unusual one. In fact, thousands of unspayed dogs with puppies – the results of interbreeding between strays – are trying to survive through the country's woods and city streets.

Those picked up by the local animal services are the more fortunate ones. With a chance for adoption, especially for the puppies, these animals are cared for and fed for a bit of time. And when that time period runs out, and it's definite that nobody wants them, the animals are painlessly put to sleep.

Filling the cages of SPCA buildings all across the country, there are loads of puppies and grown dogs, purebreds and mixed breeds, large and small, black, brown, red and white – all unwanted. They wait eagerly for hands to pet them, to love them.

With patient, trusting eyes and wagging tails, they wait.

For some of the animals time has run out and they are doomed to execution. Adoptions are few and new puppies and kittens looking for homes are coming in every day. Funds and space are often limited and, unfortunately, this is not unusual for an animal shelter. Scenes similar to this are being recreated in thousands of humane organizations around the globe.

The dog population in the United States has increased tremendously due to indiscriminate breeding, and homes for these puppies are practically non-existent. The purebred dog might have a greater chance of being adopted than the mixed breed, but even his SPCA cage is not likely to be traded for the loving confines of a home and family.

Few SPCAs can claim even one third of their annual intake of dogs being adopted, and too many can only note the thousands that they have had to “put to sleep”.

A cruel reward for man's best friend?

Yes, it is, but one that will and has to continue until pet owners can make up their minds to spay and neuter their dogs, thus preventing countless litters of unwanted puppies, who may be put to death only weeks after they are born.

The first Humane Society was founded in England in 1824. The first in the United States, organized in New York by Henry Bergh and chartered by the state legislature in 1866, was the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA). It is limited to that state only, and, though there is no national organization, there are about 600 similar societies in the United States.

The Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (SPCA) is the name for many independent groups, which do important work in preventing the mistreatment of animals.  These anti-cruelty societies influence governments to pass laws for the prosecution of persons who mistreat animals, and enforce these laws by investigating cases of cruelty.

They also perform periodic inspections of places where animals are kept. Ironically, these same groups have been put in the position of practicing executioners by today's society and its lack of conscience.

To combat the number of needless puppy lives wasted, the Pennsylvania SPCA announced that it would “neuterize” male dogs that it puts out for adoption as well as females.  By spaying thousands of females since the mid-19 70s, the SPCA estimates that more than 100,000 potential litters have been prevented to date.

But a female dog can hardly produce more than two litters, or 10 puppies a year, while the male dog allowed to roam at will can impregnate as many females as he encounters. This fact alone changed their policy so that now every person adopting a dog of either sex is required to leave a deposit which takes care of the “neutering”  expenses. This deposit was refunded as soon as a certificate from a veterinarian is produced to prove that the dog was spayed or neutered.

(Note: Not all organizations offer a refund on a deposit or fee for adoption so consult the individual animal shelter for their terms and policies.)

Unfortunately, many people are too unconcerned to follow through and have the operation performed when the puppy is of age.  A change in personality and the possibility of obesity is feared, when, in fact, a change, if any, in personality, will make the animal a better companion since the desire to roam will have diminished, and obesity can be counteracted with proper exercise and diet.

Money, in many cases, is not the problem, even though the spaying of large dogs can cost as much as five hundred dollars. To eliminate even this at least one SPCA in New York had a special clinic set up just for the neutering of animals, and the state of California even had mobile units traveling to different locations to perform operations.

If you are considering getting a new dog, please consider adopting from a shelter.

If you are thinking of becoming a dog owner, select a dog breed that most suits your lifestyle.

Get information about dogs (for free) online.

Oh, a don't forget to get dog insurance, your dog's health and protection is not something to risk.

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