There are hundreds of thousands of animals waiting in shelters throughout the United States to find homes. Out of all of those healthy, but lonely, animals, an unbelievable amount are euthanized. In North Carolina alone, over 250,000 animals are euthanized each year. That means nearly 700 animals are killed daily, simply because no one wanted to adopt them.

A photographer named Mary Shannon Johnstone has made it her mission to educate the public on animal over-population and the disgusting number of innocent animals that are killed because of careless breeding and the lack of spaying/neutering pets.

Her project is called Breeding Ignorance and below we wanted to share with you a few photos to help drive her point home. Warning: Some of photos contain graphic or disturbing images.

More often than not, the animals being put down are healthy and beautiful.

More often than not, the animals being put down are healthy and beautiful.

They are simply unwanted.

They are simply unwanted.

Before euthanasia, the animals are given a sedative. However, before the sedative they are often frightened.

Before euthanasia, the animals are given a sedative. However, before the sedative they are often frightened.

Even kittens are euthanized.

Even kittens are euthanized.

Both purebreeds and mutts are subject to a terrible fate in countless shelters across the country.

Both purebreeds and mutts are subject to a terrible fate in countless shelters across the country.

After being put down, the dogs are placed in black bags and their pens are sanitized.

After being put down, the dogs are placed in black bags and their pens are sanitized.

The bodies of euthanized cats are put into a freezer until they can be disposed.

The bodies of euthanized cats are put into a freezer until they can be disposed.

Painful hope: “happy tail” is what happens when too much tail wagging against a hard surface results in a bloody-tipped tail.

Painful hope: "happy tail" is what happens when too much tail wagging against a hard surface results in a bloody-tipped tail.

None of these animals deserve death.

None of these animals deserve death.

Each of them are innocents. None of them asked to be born or treated in such a way.

Each of them are innocents. None of them asked to be born or treated in such a way.

And even the youngest homeless animals are subjected to euthanasia if they aren’t adopted.

And even the youngest homeless animals are subjected to euthanasia if they aren't adopted.

These photos are disturbing, but how animals are treated at kill shelters can be even worse than what you see here. To see more of Mary’s work, visit her site.

Unfortunately, it’d be impossible to save every unwanted animal in the United States, but you can do your part to help pay for their shelter stays or reduce the number of unwanted pets. Spay or neuter your own animals (or even caught strays). You can even donate to your local shelters or sponsor a homeless pet.

Share this article and help the unwanted animals of America. Don’t let more innocent creatures die simply because no one will adopt them.

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