The following information was gathered from independent studies and estimates by experts in the animal welfare and related fields. Most of the studies were
national and there is tremendous variation by region, therefore these are estimates*.
Approximately 8-12 million companion animals come into animal shelters nationwide each year and approximately 5-9 million are euthanized (60% of dogs and 70%
of cats). The number of animals brought in by individuals and those brought in by animal control is fairly consistently equal. 25% of dogs that enter local
shelters are purebred. Only 10% of the animals received by shelters have been spayed or neutered. 75% of owned pets are neutered.
The average number of litters a fertile dog produces is one a year; average number of puppies is 4-6. It is impossible to know how many stray dogs live in the
U.S.; estimates for cats alone range up to 70 million. Owned cats and dogs generally live longer, healthier lives than strays. Many strays are lost pets that
were not kept properly indoors nor provided with identification.
About 60% of all households have a pet. About 60 million dogs are owned in the U.S. At least 20% of people who leave dogs in shelters adopted them from a
shelter. The cost of spaying or neutering a pet is less than the cost of raising puppies or kittens for one year. The average cost of food, supplies, medical
care and training for a dog is $400 to $700 each year.
*Source: The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals