More people are spaying or neutering their pets. And adopting a rescue animal has become a badge of honor. Those are two factors leading to a promising trend at animal shelters. NYT Upshot: Why Euthanasia Rates at Animal Shelters Have Plummeted. “In a quiet transformation, pet euthanasia rates have plummeted in big cities in recent years, falling more than 75 percent since 2009. A rescue, an adoption or a return to an owner or community is now a far likelier outcome, a shift that experts say has happened nationwide.” Well, at least in this one way, we really are becoming a more humane society.