Facts about U.S. Animal Shelters

First I want to give thanks to the thousands of people who tirelessly work day and night to help these animals in need.  They are feeding them, walking them, cleaning them, administering medicine, finding homes for them, and sometimes saying good bye to them.  These amazing people may be the only smiling face these animals have ever known.  A lot of this work is donated by groomers, rescuers, caregivers, fosters, animal technicians, managers, veterinarians, and so many more.  I personally thank you, because I would never have my 2 dogs.

Dog laying on a sofa Dog sleeping on a cusion

Philbert: Left; Antonio: Right (hard at work)


  • Approximately 6.5 million companion animals enter U.S. animal shelters nationwide every year. Of those, approximately 3.3 million are dogs and 3.2 million are cats.
  • It is estimated that the number of dogs and cats entering U.S. shelters annually has declined from approximately 7.2 million in 2011.  The biggest decline was in dogs (from 3.9 million to 3.3 million).
  • Each year, approximately 1.5 million shelter animals are euthanized (670,000 dogs and 860,000 cats).
  • The number of dogs and cats euthanized in U.S. shelters annually has declined from approximately 2.6 million in 2011.  This decline can be partially explained by an increase in the percentage of animals adopted and an increase in the number of stray animals successfully returned to their owners.
  • Roughly 30 million people aquire a new companion animal every year
  • Less than 1% of shelter animals are irremediably suffering.
  • Approximately 3.2 million shelter animals are adopted each year (1.6 million dogs and 1.6 million cats).
  • About 710,000 animals who enter shelters as strays are returned to their owners. Of those, 620,000 are dogs and only 90,000 are cats.
  • 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.
  • Approximately 40% of dog owners and 46% of cat owners learned about their pet through word of mouth.
  • According to the American Pet Products Association, these are the most common sources from which primary methods cats and dogs are obtained as pets
  • Around 27% of cats are acquired as strays, down from 35% in 2012
  • According to the ASPCA’s National Rehoming Survey, pet problems are the most common reason that owners rehome their pet, accounting for 47% of rehomed dogs and 42% of rehomed cats.  Pet problems were defined as problematic behaviors, aggressive behaviors, grew larger than expected, or health problems owner couldn’t handle.

Please contact Meadowlands Veterinary Hospital at 201-646-2008 or visit us at www.Meadowlandsvethospital.com

To show your rescue/shelter animal support while we place hats on rescue animals the entire month of April.  To donate please go to www.gofundme.com/mvh30daysand30hats

By |April 8th, 2019|
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