Thursday, October 31, 2013

New numbers on pet ownership

Every year, the APPA - American Pet Products Association - do a survey on American pet owners. The trend for the past 40 years has been an increase in pet ownership, and the trend still holds true. 

From 1970 to 2010, the number of dogs and cats in US homes increased from 67 million to an estimated 164 million. For 2013 the number is even larger. There are 83.3 million owned dogs, and 95.6 million owned cats. That makes almost 179 million!

Here are some more interesting numbers. There are:

  • 83.3 million owned dogs
  • 95.6 million owned cats
  • 47% of US households have at least one dog
  • 46% of US households have at least one cat
  • 20% of dogs were adopted from shelters
  • 26% of cats were adopted from shelters
  • The proportion of male to female dogs is even
  • The proportion of male to female cats is skewed towards female

When it comes to shelters, the Humane Society has estimated numbers for 2013. 

During the worst period, almost 20 million dogs and cats were euthanized in shelters during one year. That number is down to around four million. (This is of course four million too many, but a clear improvement.)

There are:
  • Approximately 3,500 animal shelters in the US
  • 6-8 million cats and dogs enter shelters each year
  • 25% of dogs in shelters are pure bred
  • 3-4 million of dogs and cats are adopted from shelters each year
  • 30% of shelter dogs are reclaimed by their owners
  • Only 2-5% of shelter cats are reclaimed by their owners
~ Maria Sadowski ~ 


  1. Well, those are some ugly numbers but I guess going from 20 to 4 million pets being put down is good, but not good enough!

    1. It's better, but still bad. I'm puzzled by how few shelter dogs and cats are reclaimed by their owners.

  2. Thanks for sharing this information; it's important to be on top of these numbers and get a true look of what rescue looks like if we hope to make a positive impact.