Amelioration of Pet Overpopulation and Abandonment Using Control of Breeding and Sale, and Compulsory Owner Liability Insurance

Animals (Basel). 2021 Feb 18;11(2):524. doi: 10.3390/ani11020524.


Overpopulation and abandonment of pets are long-standing and burgeoning concerns that involve uncontrolled breeding and selling, illegal trafficking, overpopulation, and pet safety and well-being issues. Abandonment of pets creates numerous negative externalities and multimillion-dollar costs, in addition to severe consequences and problems concerning animal welfare (e.g., starvation, untreated disease, climatic extremes, uncertainty of rescue and adoption), ecological (e.g., invasive species and introduction of novel pathogens), public health and safety (e.g., risks to people from bites, zoonoses, or road hazards), and economic (e.g., financial burdens for governmental and nongovernmental organizations). These interwoven problems persist for several reasons, including the following: (1) lack of an efficient system for the prevention of abandonment and overpopulation, (2) lack of regulatory liability for pet owners, (3) lack of legal alternative to abandonment. This article proposes a novel comprehensive management system for amelioration of overpopulation and abandonment of pets aimed to tackle the current supply and demand dysfunction of the pet market and provide a legal alternative to abandonment.

Keywords: exotic pets; pet abandonment; pet market regulation; pet overpopulation; pet welfare.