Posted by Daniela Lopez on October 2nd, 2023
Simone Wave / Stocksy
Plenty of people enjoy being scared during spooky season, whether it’s curling up to watch a scary movie or braving a haunted house. But animal lovers know there are some truly scary things happening in shelters across the country. October isn’t only the festive preamble to Halloween, but also Adopt a Shelter Dog Month — and it’s the perfect time to spread awareness about the truly frightening reality that far too many shelter dogs face.
3.6 million dogs enter shelters every year.
That’s a huge number, and sadly, 12 percent of those pups never find a home. But the good news is that around 57 percent of shelter dogs get adopted.
Around 400,000 shelter dogs are euthanized every year.
This number is devastatingly high but, believe it or not, it’s lower than previous years. The percentage of shelter euthanasia dropped to 8.2% in 2022.
Only three states are no-kill.
No-kill states have at least a 90 percent save rate for animals entering their shelters. Delaware, New Hampshire, and Vermont have all been designated as “no-kill” states by Best Friends Animal Society. Delaware’s save rate is 91.5 percent, New Hampshire’s is 92.7 percent, and Vermont’s is 92.4 percent. You can learn more about your state’s status here.
Shelter intake continues to increase.
American shelters are in the middle of a crisis: They’re overcrowded due to a number of reasons, including pet parents’ financial struggles, inability to take care of pets they adopted during the pandemic, a lack of foster parents, and more. As a result, in the first half of 2023, the combined shelter intake rate for cats and dogs has increased by 8 percent compared to 2021. And on top of that, adoption rates are low as well.
Most of the dogs who enter shelters are healthy enough to be adopted.
There are plenty of misconceptions out there about shelter and rescue animals, one of which is that they are more likely to have health issues. But that’s simply not the case — plenty of animals are healthy when they enter shelters or rescues and, if they’re not, any reputable shelter or rescue will treat them.
At least 150,000 dogs need homes right now.
It’s the perfect time to consider welcoming one of these wonderful, loving shelter dogs into your family. Thankfully, more people are bringing pets into their lives now than ever before: according to the American Veterinary Medical Association, the number of households with dogs is up 7 percent from 2016. If you think you’re ready to join their ranks, find your BFF on Adopt A Pet.
*These estimates are based on data from Shelter Animals Count for 2023, except where specified. These figures are based on data collected from shelters and rescues across the United States. It is important to note that the numbers may vary by state.