Facts about Pet Overpopulation

  • Pet overpopulation is the leading killer of cats and dogs in our country.
  • An estimated 3.7 million animals are euthanized in animal shelters each year across the United States.
  • 84% of owned cats and 72% of owned dogs are already spayed or neutered.
  • The majority of pet overpopulation comes from unaltered pets living in low-income neighborhoods.
  • Fifty thousand puppies and kittens are born every day in our country.
  • U.S. taxpayers spend up to $2 billion each year on services to collect, house, destroy and dispose of unwanted animals.

Sources: American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty of Animals, The Fund for Animals, The Humane Society of the United States.

Benefits of Spaying and Neutering:

  • Spayed or neutered pets tend to live an average of 2-3 years longer than those that are unaltered.
  • Spaying or neutering protects pets from some types of deadly cancers.
  • Spaying or neutering reduces the chance of pets running away or fighting.
  • Dogs who have not been spayed or neutered may be three times more likely to bite.

Sources: American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty of Animals, The Fund for Animals, The Humane Society of the United States.



Hopefully at some point you will want to open your heart to another pet.  When you are ready, please consider saving a life and adopting from your local shelter or rescue.  There are numerous breed rescues if you have a particular breed in mind.   A good starting place in your search is   Check with local rescues and shelters in your area.   There are many wonderful animals out there longing for a forever home.
Facts about U.S. Animal Shelters:

There are about 5,000 community animal shelters nationwide that are independent; there is no national organization monitoring these shelters. The terms “humane society” and “SPCA” are generic; shelters using those names are not part of the ASPCA or the Humane Society of the United States. Currently, no government institution or animal organization is responsible for tabulating national statistics for the animal protection movement.

Approximately 5 million to 7 million companion animals enter animal shelters nationwide every year, and approximately 3 million to 4 million are euthanized (60 percent of dogs and 70 percent of cats). Shelter intakes are about evenly divided between those animals relinquished by owners and those picked up by animal control. These are national estimates; the percentage of euthanasia may vary from state to state.

According to the National Council on Pet Population Study and Policy (NCPPSP), less than 2 percent of cats and only 15 to 20 percent of dogs are returned to their owners. Most of these were identified with tags, tattoos or microchips.

Twenty-five percent of dogs who enter local shelters are purebred. (Source: NCPPSP)

Only 10 percent of the animals received by shelters have been spayed or neutered, while 78 percent of pet dogs and 88 percent of pet cats are spayed or neutered, according to the American Pet Products Association (Source: APPA).

More than 20 percent of people who leave dogs in shelters adopted them from a shelter. (Source: NCPPSP)

Visit for more information.


Miscellaneous information on homeless animals and spay/neuter

The following websites offer detailed information on homeless and unwanted animals, the pet overpopulation crisis, and the importance of spaying and neutering your pets: