How Do I? Online Services
Pet Overpopulation Estimates

As a nation, we claim to love cats and dogs. Millions of households have pets, and billions of dollars are spent yearly on pet supplies and food. But as a nation, we should take a hard, sobering look at a different annual statistic: the millions of dogs and cats given up to shelters or left to die on the streets. And the numbers tell only half the story.

Every cat or dog who dies as a result of pet overpopulation—whether humanely in a shelter or by injury, disease, or neglect—is an animal who, more often than not, would have made a wonderful companion, if given the chance. Tremendous as the problem of pet overpopulation is, it can be solved if each of us takes just one small step, starting with not allowing our animals to breed. Here's information about this crisis and why spaying and neutering is the first step to a solution. - HSUS

HSUS Pet Overpopulation Estimates

Number of cats and dogs entering shelters each year:
6-8 million (HSUS estimate)

Number of cats and dogs euthanized by shelters each year:
3-4 million (HSUS estimate)

Number of cats and dogs adopted from shelters each year:
3-4 million (HSUS estimate)

Number of cats and dogs reclaimed by owners from shelters each year:
Between 600,000 and 750,000 -- 30% of dogs and 2-5% of cats entering shelters (HSUS estimate)

Number of animal shelters in the United States:
Between 4,000 and 6,000 (HSUS estimate)

Percentage of dogs in shelters who are purebred:
25% (HSUS estimate)

Average number of litters a fertile cat can produce in one year: 3

Average number of kittens in a feline litter: 4-6

Average number of litters a fertile dog can produce in one year: 2

Average number of puppies in a canine litter: 6-10

Courtesy of Humane Society of the United States