Most pet owners don’t like to think about killing pets in shelters. Even fewer like to think about the possibility of those dead shelter pets being ground up for use as an ingredient in pet food. While I don’t know of any unequivocal proof that dead shelter pets sent to rendering facilities end up being purchased as a protein source by pet food manufacturers, I think it’s a question worth asking.
Slate asked the question last week and tragically bungled the thing worse than I could have imagined. The author determines that dead shelter pets are likely in your pet’s food dish but closes with this so very wrong paragraph:
Go ahead, feed this stuff to your dogs. I’m not kidding. They have to eat something, and this is what is available. Until we have a better answer for the millions of unwanted pets waiting in shelters for homes that aren’t there, and until we figure out a more efficient means of turning subsidized grain into steak, this stuff exists, and we’ve got to do something with it. Put Lassie on the label, since she’s on the menu anyway. If you don’t like it, adopt a shelter dog and make sure it’s neutered.
Fail, fail everywhere and all the brains did shrink.
Dogs do have to eat something but commercial mystery meat food is not the only thing available. Table scraps, in their various forms, have been used to feed dogs since dogs started hanging around humans and there were no “subsidized grains” being turned into steak then. There are plenty of other foods dogs can be fed besides steak anyway.
Millions of shelter pets are not unwanted. They are wanted. Shelters and rescues prevent pets from getting into homes by keeping the pets hidden, turning down adopters who don’t meet arbitrary criteria such as a fenced yard and failing to do their jobs overall.
Homes are there. More than enough homes. Check the math.
I have adopted shelter dogs. I’ve gotten them neutered. It didn’t make any shelter directors do their jobs. Problem still unsolved. Or to put it more lovingly, your solution sucks, makes no sense and sucks more.