Brief introduction: I fully support spaying and neutering pets. I have pets that I have bought from animal shelters and stray cats I took in... HOWEVER, there are a lot of facts and stats that are grossly misrepresented by certain rescue and shelter organizations. The first one I would like to address is how many pet dogs are spayed and neutered and you may be surprised to find that it is 78% of them and cats are even higher at 88%. The next one is that only 2% of dogs/cats end up in shelters yearly. I would imagine you were led to believe this number was much higher. We actually import pets from other countries because some areas have a shortage of available pets. Only 26% of people get their pet from breeders. How can breeders be the problem when most dogs and cats are acquired from friends and family for free... Please take the time to read all of the facts and stats below. Whether you buy from a breeder, buy from a shelter/rescue, or get a dog free from a friend; spay and neuter and be committed to training and caring for your pet for LIFE! Support responsible breeders and share these facts and stats.
ANIMAL SHELTER STATS:
2 % or less of shelter cats are ever returned to their owners. (NCPPSP) 15 to 20% of shelter dogs are returned to their owners. (NCPPSP) 78% of pet dogs are spayed or neutered (APPA) 88% of pet cats are spayed or neutered, (APPA). 20% of people who relinquished their dogs to shelters originally adopted them from shelters. (NCPPSP) 56% of all US households have a pet. (AVMA) 65% of pet owners acquire their pets free or at low cost. (NCPPSP) 51% of pets are obtained from acquaintances and family members (NCPPSP) 26% of dogs are purchased from breeders. 33% of pet cats were acquired as strays. (APPA) 1.9 % fewer US households had dogs in 2011 compared to 2006. (AVMA) 2.4% fewer household s owned a pet in 2011 compared to 2006. (AVMA) 6.2% fewer US households owned cats in 2011 compared to 2006. (AVMA) 16.7% fewer American households had a horse in 2011 than in 2006. (AVMA) 20.5% fewer US households kept birds in 2011 than in 2006. (AVMA) 36.5% of US households keep dogs and keep (AVMA) 30.4% of US households keep cats and households with cats average 2.1 cats per household (AVMA) 63.2% of US pet owners consider their pets to be family members. (AVMA) - There are approximately 78 million pet dogs in the U.S. and 85 million pet cats. (AVMA) - 46.3 million American households keep dogs (APPA) - 38.9 million US households keep cats (APPA) - 5.7 million US households keep birds. (APPA)
UPDATED 2016: Out of 164 million cats and dogs that are pets in the USA--6.5 million cats and dogs end up in shelters. Remember that more than half of these are lost/stolen pets--many of them have home and with microchipping we are seeing more and more strays returned to their rightful owners. ADOPTION STATS: Over FIVE million are adopted or claimed leaving approximately 1.5 million shelter cats/dogs euthanized (670,000 dogs and 860,000 cats).