I have been a pet owner for most of my life.  One of the hardest decisions to make as a pet owner is when, in their twilight years or in times of injury, to put them down. 

Some of us own pets that don't make it to the point of euthanization:  accidents, illness, etc.  But most of us may have to make that decision at some point in our lives.

According to this story, it costs Americans $2 billion per year to euthanize our pets, but that is not the surprising part of the story; what surprised me was that euthanasia of our pets that have been given up is the leading cause of death among cats and dogs in this country.

Rental policies is one of the leading causes of people having to give up their pets; when people move, it is getting harder and harder to find 'pet friendly' apartments and condominiums.  When (some) people can't find a place to live that allows pets, they resort to dropping the unwanted animal at the local shelter.  Some are lucky enough to have friends, family or a willing person to adopt the animals, but most are sent to shelters, and about half of those don't make it out of the shelter alive.

(Via The Street)