Why Are Dogs Killed In Shelters

Because animal care and control organizations are not always obligated to maintain statistics on the number of animals brought in, adopted, euthanized, or reclaimed, it is challenging to identify national euthanasia figures. Although many shelters understand the importance of keeping data, there is no national reporting system that would allow for the compilation of national statistics on these figures.

Sadly, the National Council’s most recent numbers are from 1997, and only 1,000 shelters responded to the survey at that time. Although it is impossible to determine the precise number of animal shelters in operation in the United States, the National Council’s statistics from 1997 were used to make the following estimates:

  • 4.3 million animals were handled among the 1,000 shelters that responded to the National Council’s survey.
  • About 2.7 million animals were put to death in just these 1,000 shelters in 1997, or about 64 percent of all animals that entered shelters. In addition to being overcrowded, these animals might have have been ill, hostile, hurt, or suffering from another condition.
  • 56 and 71 percent, respectively, of dogs and cats who are brought into animal shelters are put to death. Because cats are more likely than dogs to enter a shelter without any owner identification, more cats than dogs are put to death.
  • When animals enter animal shelters, just 15% of dogs and 2% of cats are reunited with their owners.
  • When animals are brought into animal shelters, 25% of dogs and 24% of cats are adopted.

In the nation’s shelters in 2008, an estimated 3.7 million animals were put to death. Many animal welfare organizations, such as the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, frequently utilize this number as it represents an acknowledged statistic (ASPCA).

Practical solutions for reducing euthanasia numbers

  • A rabies certificate, city license, and identification tag should all be worn by your pet. Specify your name, address, phone number, and the name of your pet.
  • Maintain your licenses, as they assist shelters in locating pet owners.
  • Put a temporary tag on your pet before moving. Include your cell phone number as well as the phone number of someone who will be able to contact you.
  • Do not assume that tags are unnecessary for indoor pets. Indoor pets that fled are a common type of stray in shelters.
  • Get your cat a special collar with an elastic band to prevent it from getting entangled in fences or trees.
  • In addition to ID badges, think about microchipping your pet. Never forget to update this information and include an emergency contact.

What proportion of dogs at shelters are put down?

  • Every year, almost 3.2 million animals in shelters are adopted.
  • 6.5 million animals enter US shelters every year.
  • In the US, almost three million animals in shelters are put to death each year.
  • 50% of shelter euthanasia is the fault of five states.
  • More than 2,000 no-kill shelters exist in the US.
  • Delaware became the first state with a no-kill shelter in 2019.
  • In the US, there are about 70 million stray animals.
  • Only one dog in ten will be adopted permanently.
  • In underprivileged communities, 88% of pets are not spayed or neutered.
  • 36% of animals who were abandoned in 2015 were transported to a shelter.

Each Year, 6.5 Animals Enter US Shelters

  • 3.3 million puppies and 3.2 million cats are among them.
  • There were 3.9 million dogs brought to shelters in 2011.
  • The number of animals brought to shelters decreased by 700,000 between 2011 and 2015.

Around 3.2 Million Shelter Animals Get Adopted Each Year

  • According to adoption data from animal shelters, 1.6 million people choose to adopt cats or puppies.
  • Surprisingly, 710,000 animals that are brought into shelters are eventually given back to their owners. Pet owners must therefore take the necessary precautions to prevent losing their animal pals. A wireless dog fence or microchipping are a couple of alternatives.
  • Up to 48% of dogs and 50% of cats, according to estimates from the shelter population, are adopted.

Every Year, About Three Million Shelter Animals Are Euthanized In the US

  • Up to 70% of cats in shelters are put to death.
  • 80% of cats in animal shelters are healthy and curable, according to statistics.
  • Less than 10% of animals in shelters experience untreatable conditions.

If you think that’s a lot, consider that 17 million animals were put to death in shelters in 1984.

Five States Are Responsible For 50% Of Shelter Euthanasia

  • Texas, California, Florida, North Carolina, and Georgia are those states. Although each state has its unique euthanasia data, cats account for 75% of all animal deaths in California. It affects both dogs and cats equally in Texas.
  • However, 85% of Americans believe that having stray neighborhood cats is preferable to letting shelters capture and put the animals to sleep.
  • 10%–12% of the populace in general gives stray cats food.

There is yet some hope. Thousands of animals are saved in some places by locals.

There Are Over 2,000 No-Kill Shelters in the US

  • So, 44% of shelters in the US practice no-kill. They represented 29% in 2018.
  • Sadly, just 35% of towns nationwide are no-kill.
  • By 2025, Best Friends wants to stop the practice of euthanasia in animal shelters.

Statistics on animal shelters by state reveal that one state is completely no-kill.

What occurs to dogs who are not adopted?

The severely ill, canines whose agony cannot be relieved, and aggressive dogs are put to sleep by ARMAC. We’ve kept dogs in foster homes for up to five years while we waited for their forever homes.

Rescue one till there are none. It is better to burn a candle for one lost animal than to blame the apathy of man. The world won’t change if only one animal is saved, but that one animal’s life will undoubtedly alter as a result. Anonymous

The majority of people looking for a dog prefer younger dogs, so if you have an older dog, please realize that while there are some nice people who might adopt him. Don’t leave your elderly pet at the shelter where he will be distressed for his final hours or days before passing away in the arms of strangers if you are unable to care for him and are unable to find a rescue organization that will take him. Taking him to your veterinarian, holding him in YOUR arms, and putting him to sleep would be much nicer. For a dog who has given you the finest years of his life, it is the least you can do.

Facts about U.S. Animal Shelters:

  • Every year, some 6.3 million companion animals are brought into animal shelters in the United States. There are about 3.1 million dogs and 3.2 million cats among them. The number of dogs and cats entering shelters annually in the United States has decreased from around 7.2 million in 2011. Dogs saw the biggest reduction (from 3.9 million to 3.1 million).
  • Approximately 920,000 animals in shelters are put to death every year (390,000 dogs and 530,000 cats). Since 2011, there have been fewer dogs and cats put to death in American shelters each year, down from around 2.6 million. An rise in the percentage of adopted animals and the number of successfully reunited stray animals with their owners can help to explain some of this reduction.
  • Every year, almost 4.1 million animals in shelters are adopted (2 million dogs and 2.1 million cats).
  • Approximately 810,000 strays who enter shelters are reunited with their owners. There are 100,000 cats and 710,000 dogs among them.

*These projections are based in part on information from the 2019 Shelter Animals Count and other known and projected sources. These are nationwide averages based on information from shelters and rescues; individual state estimates may differ.

Facts about Pet Ownership in the U.S.:

  • In the US, there are reportedly 78 million dogs and 85.8 million cats owned. In the United States, there are about 44% of families with dogs and 35% with cats. (Reference: American Pet Products Association (APPA) 2015–2016)
  • 46% of cat owners and 40% of dog owners, respectively, claim to have learnt about their pets from others. (Reference: APPA)
  • According to the APPA, these are the principal sources from which cats and dogs are obtained as pets most frequently. (Note: This information was based on a multiple-choice question, therefore the total percentage for cats and dogs separately exceeds 100%.) Additionally, all source categories indicated by less than 10% of dog and cat owners are included in the “other” category):

According to the APPA, 23% of dogs and 31% of cats are bought from an animal shelter or humane society, whereas 34% of dogs and 23% of cats are purchased from breeders.

Strays now account for about 27% of cats, down from 35% in 2012. (Reference: APPA)