Animal Shelter Statistics

Animal Shelter Statistics
Total number of nationwide animal shelters 5,000
Number of companion animals that enter into animal shelters nationwide annually 5 million
Average annual number of companion animals that are euthinized at shelters 3.5 million
Percent of dogs in animals shelters that are euthanized 60%
Percent of cats in animal shelters that are euthanized 70%
Percent of cats that are returned to their owners 2%
Percent of dogs returned to their owners 15%
Total percentage of dogs claimed to be spayed or neutered 78%
Total percentage of cats that are claimed to be spayed or neutered 88%
Total number of animals that end up in a shelter that are spayed or neutered 10%
Percent of dogs brought to shelters that were adopted by a shelter 20%
Percent of dogs and cats that are adopted from shelters 25%
Total number of dogs and cats that are bought at pet stores 6%
Percentage of people that get their pets free or at low cost 65%
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 purebred 25%
Total percentage of U.S. homes who own at least 1 companion animal 63%
Total number of homes that own at least 1 companion animal 70 million

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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.