The Shelter Statistics Survey, 1994-97
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This Survey, initiated in 1994, by the NCPPSP gathered the names of shelters and organizations believed to be sheltering animals. Only shelters that housed more than 100 dogs and/or cats each year were included. The final list had 5,042 names. All responses were kept confidential.  Information linking the names of shelters with their responses was not released.

A survey card was constructed requesting shelter name, address, contact person and phone number. In addition, data were requested for the number of dogs and cats entering the shelters through animal control, owner relinquishment or other methods, and for the number of dogs and cats exiting the shelters through adoption, owner reclamation, euthanasia or other methods. Kittens and puppies were counted in the cat and dog categories, respectively. The data card was sent to the initial list of shelters in February 1995 requesting data for 1994. Reminder cards were sent out later that year. Changes to the mailing list were continuously made in response to shelter comments. The study was repeated for 1995, 1996 and 1997. The collection of data by means of survey cards was halted due to the low percentage of response by animal shelters.

Numbers Entering the Responding Shelters
1994 1995 1996 1997
Dogs 2,222,751 2,091,237 2,292,868 2,329,978
Cats 1,557,767 1,563,362 1,818,736 1,759,743
Unspecified NA 409,941 206,460 246,523
Overall 3,780,518 4,064,540 4,318,064 4,336,244
Numbers Leaving the Responding Shelters
1994 1995 1996 1997
Dogs 2,090,587 1,888,402 2,117,440 2,117,902
Cats 1,442,464 1,451,464 1,677,895 1,611,616
Unspecified NA 366,039 360,818 279,582
Overall 3,533,051 3,705,905 4,156,153 4,009,100
Types of Responding Shelters
1994 1995 1996 1997
Local governmental animal care and control agency 560 487 377 407
Private, non-profit shelter 232 264 228 229
Private, non-profit shelter w/ housing contract 171 188 195 185
Other 92 46 39 26
Unknown 15 86 173 161
Total Number of responding shelters 1070 1071 1012 1008
Sources of Dogs and Cats Entering Reporting Shelters (%)

Submitted by Animal Control

1994 1995 1996 1997
Dogs 57.5 45.0 42.5 42.4
Cats 46.6 35.9 31.9 33.2
Unspecified NA 55.8 NA 37.8
Overall 53.0 42.6 36.0 38.4

Relinquished by Owner

1994 1995 1996 1997
Dogs 25.7 26.9 25.3 27.0
Cats 32.7 34.3 30.7 35.0
Unspecified NA 22.7 24.6 26.0
Overall 28.6 29.4 27.5 30.2

Other Sources

1994 1995 1996 1997
Dogs 16.8 10.5 12.8 13.1
Cats 20.7 13.9 18.2 16.9
Unspecified NA 8.7 24.4 12.8
Overall 18.4 11.6 15.6 14.7

Unknown Sources

1994 1995 1996 1997
Dogs NA 17.5 19.3 17.5
Cats NA 15.9 19.2 14.9
Unspecified NA 12.8 51.0 23.4
Overall NA 16.4 20.8 16.8
Disposition of Dogs and Cats Entering Reporting Shelters (%)

Adopted

1994 1995 1996 1997
Dogs 23.2 25.5 25.8 25.0
Cats 21.7 23.4 24.0 24.4
Unspecified NA 16.0 13.1 13.7
Overall 22.6 23.7 24.0 23.9

Returned to Owner

1994 1995 1996 1997
Dogs 15.3 16.3 16.1 15.8
Cats 2.3 2.2 2.0 2.0
Unspecified NA 8.8 7.0 9.3
Overall 10.0 10.0 9.7 9.8

Euthanized

1994 1995 1996 1997
Dogs 58.4 55.1 56.0 56.4
Cats 72.4 71.4 71.8 71.0
Unspecified NA 71.8 76.3 74.4
Overall 64.1 63.1 64.1 63.6

Other

1994 1995 1996 1997
Dogs 3.1 2.2 1.7 2.4
Cats 3.6 2.3 1.9 2.3
Unspecified NA 2.9 3.5 2.6
Overall 3.3 2.3 2.0 2.4

Unknown

1994 1995 1996 1997
Dogs NA 0.9 0.4 0.4
Cats NA 0.6 0.2 0.3
Unspecified NA 0.5 NA NA
Overall NA 0.8 0.3 0.4

Please note:  It is not possible to use these statistics to estimate the numbers of animals entering animal shelters in the United States, or the numbers euthanized on an annual basis.  The reporting Shelters may not represent a random sampling of U.S. shelters.

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