To the editor:

When trying to determine priorities, it is important to look at those affected. With the Black Lives Matter movement gaining so much traction with the tragedies of Blacks being killed by police, I think it is important to put things into perspective. One way to do this, is to look at the number of deaths that take place each year in the United States.

Estimated number of deaths per year in United states:

Lightning strikes: two;

Number of Blacks killed by police: 250;

Total number of people killed by police: 1,100;

Firearm homicides: 8,500;

Car accidents: 39,000;

Suicide: 48,000;

Nephritis, nephrotic syndrome and nephrosis: 1,000;

Influenza and pneumonia: 59,000;

Diabetes: 85,000;

Alzheimer’s disease: 122,000;

Stroke: 147,000;

Chronic lower respiratory diseases: 159,000;

Accidents: 167,000;

COVID-19: 243,000 and growing;

Cancer: 599,000;

Heart disease: 655,000;

Dogs euthanized in shelters: 1.2 million.

That’s right -- more than twice as many dogs euthanized in shelters due to overpopulation and lack of funding than every person in the United States who dies of cancer, and almost 5,000 times the number of African Americans killed by police. And it receives very little attention.

If one is to feel a social responsibility to save lives, the solution is simple: Adopt, don’t shop, for your pets. Keeping dogs out of shelters, rather than having them bred by pet stores and puppies mills, will help save their lives.

Loyd Waites


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