When looking at the makeup of American families today, it’s rare to see a home where a pet isn’t part of the family. According to the most recent data from the APPA National Pet Owners Survey, 67% of households—or around 85 million homes—own a pet. Of these households, dogs and cats top the list of most popular pets, with 63.4 million and 42.7 million households owning dogs and cats, respectively.
In exploring the history of animal shelters and rescue organizations in the country, nothing proves as problematic as the lack of a centralized reporting system to collect data on these organizations. Most of the shelter statistics that are available and accepted today are estimates based on several period surveys, including the aforementioned APPA National Pet Owners Survey along with the AVMA U.S. Pet Ownership & Demographics Sourcebook. Without a nationally codified and streamlined process for collecting, organizing, and