Frequently Asked Questions


How many dogs (or cats) are in my home town?

The The NCPPSP data reflects information relating only to the animals that are in animal shelters. The American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA), however, periodically does a study that determines the population of various animals in the United States. Information on the U.S. Pet Ownership & Demographics Sourcebook may be obtained from the AVMA at

The AVMA does offer a formula to roughly estimate the number of pets in your service area. In 2000, the US Census estimated that there were 2.67 persons per household. Using 2000 year end Census data from regarding your community, you may wish to consider the following formula taken from the 2002 U.S Pet Ownership & Demographic Sourcebook published by the AVMA:

# of persons within your community divided by 2.67 = total number of households
# of households in the area you are estimating x 0.361 (percent of dog owners) = total number of dog owning households
# of dog owning households x 1.6 (mean number per household) = total dog population

# of persons within your community divided by 2.67 = total number of households
# of households in the area you are estimating x 0.316 (percent of cat owners) = total number of cat owning households
# of cat owning households x 2.1 (mean number per household) = total cat population

This will give an estimate based upon national statistics. To get an estimate based on data from your specific area of the country, please refer to the AVMA's U.S. Pet Ownership & Demographics Sourcebook.

The American Pet Products Manufacturers Association, or APPMA, (also a coalition member of the NCPPSP) conducts a National Pet Owners Survey. Information on their 2005-2006 survey can be found at


How many dogs/cats are adopted/euthanized each year?

Data from shelters participating in the survey done by the NCPPSP for four years, 24.9% of the dogs and 23.4% of the cats were adopted into new homes. The percentage of dogs euthanized averaged 56.5%. The cats did not fair so well as an average of 71.1% were destroyed. It is not possible to use these statistics to estimate the numbers of animals adopted or euthanized on an annual basis. The reporting shelters may not represent a random sampling of U.S. shelters.


How many animals are lost every year?

Many animals that become lost are never reported to officials nor do they end up at an animal shelter. Lost animals are often returned to their owners without any documentation of their being missing. Their numbers are not contained within the parameters of the NCPPSP studies.

How is the work of the National Council funded?
The scientific research done for the NCPPSP is funded by its member organizations, foundations, and concerned individuals. If you would like to make a tax-deductible contribution to the Council, please send your check to: NCPPSP, P.O. Box 131488
Ann Arbor, MI 48113-1488

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