Animal Shelter Statistics
Statistic Verification
Source: American Humane Society, Born Free U.S.A., Pet Finder
Research Date: July 13th, 2014

Animal shelters house homeless, lost, or abandoned animals, typically cats and dogs. The goal of the modern animal shelter is to provide a safe and caring environment until the animal is either reclaimed by its owner, placed in a new home, or placed with another organization for adoption. Some public animal shelters around the world euthanize animals that are not adopted within a set period of time (usually 1 to 2 weeks); others have a policy of only putting down animals that are in distress due to age or illness. Most private shelters are typically run as no-kill shelters. Most shelters will test the animals to see what type of home would be most suitable for living before they are placed for adoption.

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Animal Shelter Statistics
Total number of nationwide animal shelters5,000
Number of companion animals that enter into animal shelters nationwide annually5 million
Average annual number of companion animals that are euthinized at shelters3.5 million
Percent of dogs in animals shelters that are euthanized60%
Percent of cats in animal shelters that are euthanized70%
Percent of cats that are returned to their owners2%
Percent of dogs returned to their owners15%
Total percentage of dogs claimed to be spayed or neutered78%
Total percentage of cats that are claimed to be spayed or neutered88%
Total number of animals that end up in a shelter that are spayed or neutered10%
Percent of dogs brought to shelters that were adopted by a shelter20%
Percent of dogs and cats that are adopted from shelters25%
Total number of dogs and cats that are bought at pet stores6%
Percentage of people that get their pets free or at low cost65%
Cost of taxpayer money annually to round up, house, kill and dispose of homeless animals$2 billion
Total percentage of dogs in shelters that are purebred25%
Total percentage of U.S. homes who own at least 1 companion animal63%
Total number of homes that own at least 1 companion animal70 million

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