Blogging About Critters Since 2007

Sunday, March 1, 2009

575 Project Sends a Difficult Message

Best Friends co-founder and artist Cyrus Mejia learned that 5 million animals are put to death each year in US animal shelters. He calculated that this equaled about 575 animals per HOUR (thanks to Andrew at Good Honest Dollar for the catch!)

He helped organize the 575 Project in which artists honor the animals who have died. Each piece is a memorial to that nameless animal.

A book is now available.



Anonymous said...


Are you sure that's not five hundred and seventy five every hour as opposed to every day?

Whatever the figure it is, it is simply appalling. As Cyrus says, euthanasia is no way to deal with unwanted animals, and it is so sad to see all of these animals meeting such a tragic ending when there are no doubt many boys and girls who would love to have a little puppy or kitten.

Anonymous said...

You're right! I'll change it. That's what I get for posting on a Sunday night...Thanks for the catch!

Anonymous said...

I've been thinking about the last line of Andrew's post for a while. I think part of the reason why there are so many animals dying in shelters is the idea that boys and girls would love to have a puppy or kitten. Children shouldn't equate pets.

Caring for an animal is a huge responsibility. They are living creatures that must be fed, cleaned, maintained, walked, groomed, medicated, toilet trained, have their litter boxes or cages cleaned, etc. It takes a mature child to do that. Or a caring adult.

Many children get puppies and kittens for Xmas or their birthdays. They quickly lose interest once they realize that there is work involved. And the adult may not be interested either. It was a quick toy at the moment. But an animal is not a toy. What the adult should have bought was some inanimate toy that can be recycled once the child becomes bored.

Because that is what often happens. Once the bloom wears off (ie. the animal is no longer cute or it involves work) they end up at a shelter (if they're lucky) and possibly one of the 575.

Anonymous said...

Fair point, ladykat.

Given the propensity of children to lose interest after the novelty wears off, adults should not allow animals to be kept as pets unless they themselves are prepared to see to it that the animal is properly cared for, particularly after the child’s initial excitement wears off.

In addition, given the onset of challenging economic conditions, adults should also refuse to allow pets unless they are prepared to shoulder the financial burden with respect to pet maintenance.

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