Ten Shelter Pet Statistics

1) About 6.5 million companion animals enter US animal shelters every year. 

2) Approximately 3.2 million are adopted each year (1.6 million dogs and 1.6 million cats). 

3) Each year 1.5 million shelter animals are euthanized (670,000 dogs and 860,000 cats). 

4) Since 2011 the number of dogs and cats euthanized has decreased by 40%, in part due to an increase in adoptions and an increase in the number of strays successfully returned to their owners. In 2017 about 620,000 dogs were returned to their owners but only 90,000 cats were returned.

5) Approximately 20-30% of shelter dogs are purebred. 

6) About 1/3 of dogs are purchased from breeders, 1/4 are adopted from shelters and 1/5 are obtained from friends or relatives. 

7) The majority of dogs and cats enter shelters as strays, as opposed to owner surrenders.

8) The top 3 reason for owner surrender is: lack of time, owner's personal issues and allergies.

9) On average, 15% of dogs adopted from shelters are returned.

10) It's estimated that 78 million dogs and 85.8 million cats are owned in the United States. Approximately 44% of all households in the United States have a dog, and 35% have a cat.