- 1. Primary reasons cited by companionless Americans in a similar survey included veterinary and general expenses, travel, “no time,” and the burdens of cleaning up (especially after a cat). See American Humane Association (2012, 19).
- 2. Indeed, I cannot find evidence of communities without any shelter population problems. In what follows, I will rely on the statements and statistics provided by those with expertise in shelter population problems. I enj oin readers to determine whether or not their community has imbalances in supply and demand with respect to dogs and cats, or at least to speculate whether roaming animals in their community are managed by someone.
- 3. Of course, as Jared Diamond (2002, 700) points out, there are many reasons for domestication: “Especially instructive are cases in which the same ancestral species became selected under domestication for alternative purposes, resulting in very different-appearing breeds or crops. For instance, dogs were variously selected to kill wolves, dig out rats, race, be eaten, or be cuddled in our laps. What naive zoologist glancing at wolfhounds, terriers, greyhounds, Mexican hairless dogs and Chihuahuas would even guess them to belong to the same species?” My point is not that all owners of cats and dogs equally desire their pets to actually need affection and loyalty; rather, I am arguing that whether or not one currently desires an animal to present these moral demands, dogs and cats are dependents in part because they have been cultivated by humans to thrive when their capacities for love and loyalty are realized.
- 4. See, for example, Canadian Federation ofHumane Societies (2012); for similar information in the UK, see RSPCA (2014). Information from the USA is available from many sources, and best summarized by the American Humane Association (2013) Pet Fact Sheet, which estimates that fifty million cats are feral or roaming community cats, and notes, “Recent regional and national trends suggest that the intake and euthanasia numbers are increasing in U.S. shelters, unlike dogs where intake and euthanasia numbers are decreasing and trends are more positive.” The Humane Society (2013) observes another part of the problem; 30 percent of shelter dogs are reclaimed by their owners, but only 2 to 5 percent of shelter cats are reclaimed by owners; see their US shelter and adoption estimates for 2012-13, “based on information provided by the (former) National Council on Pet Population Study and Policy.”
- 5. It is possible to imagine a change in the relationship, such that the companion animal is currently thriving and the human is not; a study of owners’ reasons to relinquish pets in the UK indicated that almost 5 percent cited the owner’s illness (Diesel, Brodbelt, and Pfeiffer 2010), and a broad report in the US noted the citation of caretakers’ personal issues (Coe et al. 2014), which can include the grounds that they will not be able to care for them in the future due to a caretaker’s illness or new financial stresses. Even then, I suggest the animal is still being surrendered for the animal’s sake, as its future thriving is perceived to be endangered.
- 6. See International Companion Animal Management Coalition (2007, 2010) for helpful discussion of what factors must be considered in saying that a community does or does not have a dog or cat population requiring management.
- 7. See International Companion Animal Management Coalition (2007, 2010); in both publications, ICAM attentively notes that roaming animals can include owned as well as unowned animals; for brevity I occasionally use “roaming” to refer to the larger category of “roaming and unowned” cats and dogs.
- 8. For example, in Canada, 80 percent of employees in animal care, animal control, and pet grooming are women (Statistics Canada 2011). In the UK, the sector is estimated to be 87 percent women (National Careers Service 2015). In the US, women are estimated to be 70 percent of sector employees (Bureau of Labor Statistics 2015). Volunteers are not counted in these statistics, and tend to be reported as also likely to be women (Davis 2013, 9-10; Neumann 2010, 363).
- 9. See Perrin (2009, 51, table 6).