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US Animal Shelters 

By the Numbers

We have analyzed data from over 400+ shelters in all 50 US states.

Dog & Cat Pals

Shelter Admission: 

Open or Limited Cat Intake?

Breakdown of Total US Shelter Intake

2017 Dogs 54%        Cats 46%

2018  Dogs 53%       Cats 47%

2019  Dogs 52%        Cats 48%

2020  Dogs 50%        Cats 50%

2021  Dogs 49%        Cats 51%

2022  Dogs 49%         Cats 51%

Source: US shelter data

Total Shelter Intake

Dogs & Cats

Total shelter intake decreased from year 2017 to 2019 by approximately 118,000 dogs and cats, or 6%. (Pre-covid)

For 2020 (covid), shelter intake decreased further from 2019 levels by approximately 373,000, or 20%.

2021 intake levels remained even while 2022 levels increased slightly.

Intake for 2022 remained 295,000 less animals when compared to 2019 levels.

Source: US shelter data

dog food
Small Strokes

In 2019, kill rates for dogs in US shelters was 11% while cat kill rates were 18%.  

Kill rates dropped for both dogs and cats in 2020 and 2021 to 10% for dogs and 11% for cats.

Note: Managed Intake, adopted by most US shelters by 2021, means not intaking most cats and requires leaving them unfixed and outside instead. This may have contributed to the lower intakes and lower kill as well. 

Source: US shelter data

Kill Rates

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Animal Sheltering Costs

The cost in 2019 for an animal shelter to shelter one dog or cat on average was $553.45.  

Think of the savings that could be recognized by increasing spay/neuter efforts which humanely reduce dog and cat homelessness.

Source: US shelter data

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