In my last blog I touched on spay/neuter statistics. In this blog I’m going to expand on those numbers and expel some myths about spaying and neutering.
In every community in every State there are animals sitting in shelters waiting to be adopted. Only half will be adopted. What that means is that the other half will be euthanized. Here are some statistics from the ASPCA :
Facts about U.S. Animal Shelters:
There are about 13,600 community animal shelters nationwide that are independent; there is no national organization monitoring these shelters. The terms “humane society” and “SPCA” are generic; shelters using those names are not part of the ASPCA or the Humane Society of the United States. Currently, no government institution or animal organization is responsible for tabulating national statistics for the animal protection movement. These are national estimates; the figures may vary from state to state.
Approximately 7.6 million companion animals enter animal shelters nationwide every year. Of those, approximately 3.9 million are dogs and 3.4 million are cats.
Each year, approximately 2.7 million animals are euthanized (1.2 million dogs and 1.4 million cats).
Approximately 2.7 million shelter animals are adopted each year (1.4 million dogs and 1.3 million cats).
About 649,000 animals who enter shelters as strays are returned to their owners. Of those, 542,000 are dogs and only 100,000 are cats.
Of the dogs entering shelters, approximately 35% are adopted, 31% are euthanized and 26% of dogs who came in as strays are returned to their owner.
Of the cats entering shelters, approximately 37% are adopted, 41% are euthanized, and less than 5% of cats who came in as strays are returned to their owners.
About twice as many animals enter shelters as strays compared to the number that are relinquished by their owners.
Facts about Pet Ownership in the U.S.:
It’s estimated that 70-80 million dogs and 74-96 million cats are owned in the United States. Approximately 37-47% of all households in the United States have a dog, and 30-37% have a cat. (Source: APPA)
According to the American Veterinary Medical Association, approximately 40% of pet owners learned about their pet through word of mouth.
The majority of pets are obtained from acquaintances and family members. 28% of dogs are purchased from breeders, and 29% of cats and dogs are adopted from shelters and rescues.
More than 35% of cats are acquired as strays. (Source: APPA)
According to the American Humane Association, the most common reasons why people relinquish or give away their dogs is because their place of residence does not allow pets (29%), not enough time, divorce/death and behavior issues (10% each). The most common reasons for cats are that they were not allowed in the residence (21%) and allergies (11%).
Facts about Pet Overpopulation in the U.S.:
It is impossible to determine how many stray dogs and cats live in the United States; estimates for cats alone range up to 70 million.
The average number of litters a fertile cat produces is one to two a year; the average number of kittens is four to six per litter.
The average number of litters a fertile dog produces is one a year; the average number of puppies is four to six.
Owned cats and dogs generally live longer, healthier lives than strays.
Many strays are lost pets who were not kept properly indoors or provided with identification.
Only 10%of the animals received by shelters have been spayed or neutered, while 83% of pet dogs and 91% of pet cats are spayed or neutered.
The cost of spaying or neutering a pet is less than the cost of raising puppies or kittens for a year.
There are some staggering numbers there!
Here are some more spay/neuter facts:
1. Spaying a female dog or cat before it’s first heat offers the best health options for your pet. Spaying help prevent breast cancer and uterine infections which is fatal in 50% of dogs and 90% in cats.
2. Neutering your male cat or dog prevents testicular cancer if done before six months of age.
3. Spayed female won’t go into heat.
4. Neutered males are less likely to roam and will be better behaved
5. Spaying or neutering will NOT make your pet fat.
6. The cost of spay/neuter is cheaper than the cost of caring for a litter.
7. Surveys show that as much as 85% of dogs hit by cars are unaltered!
Not only does spaying/neutering your pet help your pet it helps your community. If there are less strays there is less damage to property, fewer car accidents involving animals, fewer dog attacks and bites, and less wildlife killed by stray dogs and cats.

So, spaying/neutering your pet helps it live longer, healthier, makes it less aggressive, keeps them closer to home, no marking or spraying and helps the community….. Tell me again why you didn’t spay/neuter your pet? No matter the excuse you give it’s not a good one. Please, take the time to talk to your veterinarian about spay/neuter before you decide to get a cat or dog.

If you happen to decide to adopt from C.C.H.S. all of our little fur buddies are spayed/neutered before they are available for adoption. They are also micro-chipped, have undergone a complete check by a local veterinarian, up to date on all shots and have been de-wormed.
Thanks for taking the time to read my little blog. I hope you learned something. Until next time, enjoy!