The Truth about Pet Overpopulation

  • 5 to 7 million companion animals enter shelters each year nationwide (2)
  • 3 to 4 million of those animals are euthanized (60% of dogs and 70% of cats).  These are national estimates and the percentage of euthanasia can very from state to state (2)
  • 25% of dogs that enter local shelters are purebred.
  • Only 10% of companion animals that are received by shelters have been spayed or neutered.
  • The average number of litters an unspayed female cat produces each year is 1-2 litters.  The average number of kittens is 4-6 kittens per litter.  Overall, an unspayed female cat gives birth to 12 kittens per year.
  • The average number of litters an unspayed fertile female dog produces per year is one.  The average number of puppies per litter is 4-6.
  • The cost of spaying or neutering a pet is less than the cost of raising puppies or kittens for a year.  (1)
  1. ASPCA Pet Statistics:
  2. National Council on Pet Population Study & Policy: