about U.S. Animal Shelters:
There are about 5,000
community animal shelters nationwide that are independent; there is no national organization monitoring these shelters.
The terms "humane society" and "SPCA" are generic; shelters using those names are not part of the ASPCA or the Humane
Society of the United States. Currently, no government institution or animal organization is responsible for tabulating
national statistics for the animal protection movement.
5 million to 7 million companion animals enter
animal shelters nationwide every year and
approximately 3 to 4 million are
euthanized (60 percent of
dogs and 70 percent of cats). Shelter intakes
are about evenly divided between those
relinquished by owners and those picked up by
animal control. These are national estimates;
the percentage of euthanasia may vary from
state to state.
According to the
National Council on Pet Population Study and Policy (NCPPSP), less
than 2 percent of cats and only 15 to 20
percent of dogs are returned to their owners.*
Most of these were identified with tags,
tattoos or microchips.
five percent of dogs that enter local shelters
10 percent of the animals received by shelters
have been spayed or neutered, while 78 percent of pet dogs and 88 percent of pet cats are spayed or neutered, according to the
American Pet Products Association (APPA).+
More than 20 percent of
people who leave dogs in shelters adopted them from a shelter.*
Pet Ownership in the U.S.:
62 percent of all households in the United States have a pet.+
78.2 million dogs and 86.4 million cats are owned in the United States.+
to the NCPPSP, about 65 percent of pet owners acquire their pets free or at a low cost.*
of pets are obtained from acquaintances and family members. Twenty-six percent of dogs are purchased from breeders, 20 to 30
percent of cats and dogs are adopted from shelters and rescues, and 2 to 10 percent are purchased from pet shops.
one-third of cats are acquired as strays.+
20 percent of people who leave dogs in shelters adopted them from a shelter.*
of spaying and neutering a pet is less than the cost of raising puppies or kittens for one year.
cost of basic food, supplies, medical care and training for a dog or cat is $600 to $900 annually. Seventy-eight percent
of pet dogs and 88 percent of pet cats are spayed or neutered.+
Facts about Pet Overpopulation in the U.S.:
It is impossible
to determine how many stray dogs and cats live in the United States; estimates for cats alone range up to 70 million.
The average number
of litters a fertile cat produces is one to two a year; the average number of kittens is four to six per litter.
The average number of litters
a fertile dog produces is one a year; the average number of puppies is four to six.
Owned cats and dogs
generally live longer, healthier lives than strays.
Many strays are lost pets
who were not kept properly indoors or provided with identification.
Only 10 percent of the animals
received by shelters have been spayed or neutered, while 78 percent of pet dogs and 88 percent of pet cats are spayed or neutered
cost of spaying or neutering a pet is less
than the cost of raising puppies or kittens
for one year.
The following data are ASPCA estimates unless otherwise indicated.
+ Source: American
Pet Products Association
* Source: The National Council on Pet
Population Study and Policy (NCPPSP).