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There is a lack of legislation concerning the welfare of dogs and it is often difficult to get the laws that are on the books to be executed by local authorities. With the economy suffering many people have found that they can not afford to keep their dogs. The animals are either let them go, drop off at a shelter or destroyed, often inhumanly.
There is a serious problem in many regions of the country concerning the lack of understanding about the need to spay or neutering dogs as part of being a responsible pet owner. It's just the law of physics that puppies happen if dogs aren't fixed. The need for educational programs and social pressure is really the only answer for this problem.
There is also the issue that dog breeding by puppy farms, hunters, and individuals looking to make a buck are flooding an already saturated market for dogs. There is also the unpleasant reality that many dogs breed to be being used as test animals by many companies. The practices of these corporations for testing and research is a world of horrific misery for the animals that is hard to imagine. Never feeling grass under their feet while being physically impaired or mutilated for market research is very common in this country and around the world. They is not enough overseeing of these operations.
Ultimately when a dog's usefulness is over or they become to costly to care for they end up in need of rescue. The numbers are increasing and the problem is growing as the funds become more scarce to meet the adoption needs.
Why are there so many dogs in need?