The numbers are staggering. Approximately 5 million dogs and cats are killed each year in shelters nationwide due to overcrowding. The hard truth is that only about 25 percent of animals in shelters ever get adopted, and roughly 50 percent of dogs and 70 percent of cats in shelters are euthanized.
Unfortunately, the picture here in the Beehive State is not much better than those national numbers—but things are progressing with the help of nonprofit organizations such as No More Homeless Pets. Its mission is simple: to end the overwhelming numbers of homeless cats and dogs in Utah. The thing is, even though statewide numbers have dropped nearly 25 percent over the past decade with the unceasing help from such organizations, it is still far from acceptable when more than 35,000 pets are euthanized annually.
The 15th annual Strut Your Mutt charity event is geared specifically toward tackling such numbers, raising funds for No More Homeless Pets while encouraging pet owners to have a good time with their dogs. Attendees enjoy entertainment, food and product booths, contests and socializing, with many going so far as dressing to the nines as if it were Easter Sunday in New York City—frilly hats and matching outfits, to boot.
Despite all the mind-numbingly euthanasia statistics, Strut Your Mutt is about getting out for a relatively short, one-mile jaunt around a park with your best friend leading the pack—an interspecies community gathering lending a hand to down-on-their-luck animals everywhere.