Since 2011, there has been significant progress for America’s dogs and cats—thanks to the efforts of rescue shelters and the public’s growing dedication to animal welfare. But while there is an improvement, the current statistics on sheltered animals in the US remain overwhelming.
2016 Statistics on Sheltered Animals in the United States
The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA) is one of the independent organizations responsible for consolidating records from animal shelters in the US once every five years. In 2016, the ASPCA released its most recent report, showing a 10% decrease from 2011’s total number of animals entering shelters. Furthermore, the study also reveals a 43% decrease in animal mercy killings.
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However, the statistics on sheltered animals derived from their 2012–2016 study are still at its worst. Their study also echoes the data gathered by Shelter Animal Count. SAC is an independent organization that collaborates with animal welfare communities to create standardized shelter data reporting.
In 2016 alone, SAC revealed these important statistics:
- There were 2,681,052 reported cases of shelter intakes nationwide. Of those, 1,422,671 are dogs, and 1,258,381 are cats.
- The highest number of intakes involving lost animals is 1,345,557. They make up 50.2% of the total intake.
- Many shelter animals do not come out alive. Some die naturally (47,001 of 2016’s total animal intake), and some die by euthanasia (410,834 or 15%).
- Only 1,453,029 (54.2%) are adopted, and 263,700 (9.8%) are reunited with their owners.
Based on the data, it is almost impossible to reunite fur parents with their pets given. For this reason, animal welfare organizations urge owners to take preemptive measures to secure their pets. Keeping your doors locked and attaching a wearable GPS tracker to your pet’s collar are just two of the many things you can do to protect them.
Just in case your pet has already wandered off and got lost, begin your search in the neighborhood, at local veterinary clinics, or animal shelters. You will also need all the help you need, so don’t hesitate to ask your friends and family for help. Always remember that panicking won’t do you any good; hence, keep calm, stay strong, and be alert.
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