There are about 13,600 animal shelters throughout the United States that are independent and privately ran. Despite people thinking the Humane Society of the United States over sees these shelters and provides funds, there is no national organization monitoring these shelters. Animal Shelters actually have little to no over sight and regulation. Also no government institution or animal group is responsible for collecting national statistics. National statistics are simply estimates.

1. Roughly 7.6 million animals enter animal shelters nationwide annually. Approximately 3.9 million are dogs and 3.4 million are cats.

2. Annually, roughly 2.7 million animals are euthanized, Approximately 1.2 million are dogs and 1.4 million are cats.

3. Annually, 2.7 million shelter animals are adopted, of those 1.4 million are dogs and 1.3 million are cats.

4.  649,000 animals who enter shelters as strays are returned to their owners. Of those, 542,000 are dogs and roughly 107,000 are cats.

5. Roughly 35% of dogs are adopted, 31% are euthanized and 26% of dogs who came in as strays are returned to their owner.

6. Roughly 37% of cats are adopted, 41% are euthanized, and less than 5% of cats who came in as strays are returned to their owners.


These numbers are rough estimates that were provided by the ASPCA. The first thing we can do to help animals in shelters throughout the United States is to place regulation on shelters. Shelters should be required to keep detailed records of each animal brought into their facility. Where the pet came from, Why it is at the shelter, Why was it euthanized?  If we have better facts about why these animals are in shelters and why they are killed we would be able to come up with solid solutions to help the shelter animals.