Too Many Pets, Not Enough Homes

Focusing on spay/neuter and adoption

Cat in outdoor enclosure Imagine if all the seats in every NHL arena in Canada were filled with cats and dogs. It would still be fewer than the number of pets who enter shelters each year, according to best estimates. 

Of those estimated 150,000 pets, nearly a third will wait months in shelters before they’re adopted.

PetSmart CharitiesTM of Canada has made great strides toward finding forever homes for all pets. For example, research shows adoption is often the first option for folks who want a pet. But adoption alone won’t solve the problem. We need to prevent pets from entering shelters in the first place.

How spay/neuter can solve the problem

Fewer pets will end up in shelters if we can fix more pets.

Nationwide, we lack affordable spay/neuter services for pets in low-income areas. Also, free-roaming pets pose special problems in many Canadian regions with diverse climates. For example, feral cats run rampant in mild-climate areas like the West Coast and Southern Ontario. Up north, feral dogs often aren’t the best neighbours in their communities.

That’s why PetSmart CharitiesTM of Canada focuses on increasing access to affordable spay/neuter services through:

  • Subsidized spay/neuter grants to local animal welfare organizations
  • Building clinics in low-income areas
  • Lowering free-roaming cat intake and euthanasia at local shelters through Trap-Neuter-Return programs.

Adoption saves lives

While many people live by the “adopt, don’t shop” mantra, some still consider breeders or pet stores when they want a new pet. The PetSmart Charities of Canada 2014 Shelter Pet Report reveals the top reasons people don’t adopt pets from shelters:

  • Desire for a specific breed or type of pet
  • Concerns about high adoption fees 
  • Uncertainty about shelters.

Local animal shelters and rescue groups offer a variety of healthy, lovable and purebred pets. Often, these cats and dogs arrived at the shelter because they were lost or their families could no longer care for them.

PetSmart Charities of Canada is committed to helping pets in shelters find lifelong, loving homes. We provide greater access to more adoptable pets.

Animal welfare groups that partner with PetSmart Charities of Canada must screen pets for health and behaviour concerns. These groups are great sources of information about a pet’s needs, history and health. 

When you adopt a pet, you help make room for more pets at shelters and rescue groups. You’re giving other homeless pets a better chance of finding homes.


Our lifesaving work across Canada depends on donations from caring pet lovers like you.