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Published: Apr 26, 2012

The adoption rates of cats in shelters across America went up by 5 percent in March, helping to lower the euthanasia rates, according to new data in the PetPoint Report published by Canada's Pethealth Inc.

The report looked at data from more than 1,000 animal shelters, comparing March 2011 to March 2012. The rates of cat and dog euthanasia have declined by 19 percent and 12 percent respectively, most likely because the rates of adoption have gone up.

"We see continued cooperation between groups mobilizing the cat and dog populations to increase adoptions and reduce euthanasia," said Brad Grucelski, vice president of PetPoint Solutions at Oakville, Ontario-based Pethealth Inc. "This movement is particularly important at this time of year as groups prepare for the seasonal spike in the North American feline population that occurs when kittens begin arriving in spring."

Euthanasia is the unfortunate consequence of overcrowded shelters and pet overpopulation. According to the Humane Society of the United States, roughly 6-8 million pets enter shelters each year, and about half of them have to be euthanized because of a lack of vets and resources to care for sick cats and dogs. VCA Animal Hospitals partners with many shelters across the nation in support of pet adoption and to provide veterinary care so healthy animals get adopted.