For shelter pets, a Hurricane Katrina-scale disaster happens every week

My second post for the Huffington Post is now live. To make sure you never miss a post, you can click here to subscribe to the blog and receive every post right in your inbox.

The U.S. is a nation of animal lovers. More than 82 million households (68 percent of the population) have at least one pet. The care that we provide for our animal companions parallels the care that we provide for our families and ourselves, whether it's the quality of the food we buy for our dogs and cats, or the medical care that we give to them. In fact, this year we will spend around $15 billion on veterinary care alone out of a total of about $58 billion that we will invest in the care of the animals we have invited into our homes.

And yet, the tax dollars of these same animal lovers are being used to pay for the sanctioned killing of three to four million healthy pets every year in our nation's shelters. That's more than 9,000 healthy, adoptable dogs and cats every day; 9,000 lives, in the fullest sense of the word, are wasted every day. Caging and killing homeless pets is not only abusive and cruel to these animals who we value as a society, killing healthy, friendly pets is a soul-destroying activity that has a corrosive effect on our communities. This situation need not exist at all. No-kill is not only possible, it is the right thing to do and it has already been achieved in communities around the country.

Click to continue reading at the Huffington Post.

Francis Battista