Animal Shelters: 17 Facts You Need to Know
It’s great to hear the heart-warming stories of a rescue dog being brought home to a new family. But not all shelter dogs are lucky enough to be adopted. This is a quick look at some of the cold, hard facts about animal shelters and pet ownership in the United States. Also, please check out the quick video related to the Humane Society of the United States’ new campaign to help spread the word about shelter dogs and some common misconceptions.
Video Courtesy of the Humane Society of the United States
- There are over 164 million pet dogs and cats in the United States. Of these, 1 in every 20 will end up in a shelter by the end of the year.
- Roughly every 8 seconds, a cat or dog is sent to an animal shelter.
- There are currently about 8 million abandoned, stray and unwanted pets living in animal shelters in the United States alone.
- Roughly 5 out of every 10 dogs sent to an animal shelter will be euthanized.
- Each year, between 3-4 million dogs and cats are put to sleep in shelters across the United States.
- Only 15-20% of dogs who enter a shelter are returned to their owners.
- More than 25% of shelter dogs are purebred.
- Nearly 35% of dogs are purchased from breeders and pet stores.
- Roughly 20-30% of pet cats and dogs are adopted from shelters or rescues.
- More than 20% of shelter dogs are brought in by owners who adopted from a shelter.
- On average, only 10% of pets brought in to shelters have been spayed or neutered.
- The cost of spaying or neutering a pet is less than the cost of raising a puppy for one year.
- The average cost to own a dog for one year is between $600-$900
- The National Council on Pet Population Study and Policy found that the #1 reason dogs are relinquished to shelters is moving.
- The #2 reason is landlord issues.
- Pets relinquished to animal shelters have been found more likely to be intact, younger, and mixed bred than pets kept in homes.
- People relinquishing animals have been found to be significantly more likely to be men and younger than 35 years old.