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Report: Shelters took in more animals in 2022

Posted at 11:31 AM, Jan 31, 2023

There was an uptick in animals being surrendered to shelters in 2022. According to a national database created by Shelter Animal Count, a nonprofit organization, 4% more animals entered shelters than left in 2022. That's an increase of 2% from 2021, according to the report.

While the increase is concerning, the study notes that animals entering shelters is still down 16% from 2019.

The latest increase is not being driven by people surrendering their pets, the organization notes. It says those numbers have remained consistent, around 25% over the last four years. Animals end up in shelters for a variety of reasons, including being transferred between shelters and strays found on the streets.

Dog adoption rates also remained consistent in 2022. The study notes that 54% of dogs that were in shelters ended up being adopted by the end of the year. Cats had a higher overall adoption rate, 64%, in 2022, according to the report.

In addition to adoption, the study looked at other types of outcomes for pets that were stuck in shelters. The euthanasia rate for cats was 8.2%, similar to 2021. The euthanasia rate for dogs was also 8.2%, an increase from 5.9% in 2021.

Having more staff and resources also impacted the well-being of animals. According to the study, 80% of respondents said the lack of people-related resources (fosters, volunteers, staff, etc.) negatively impacted the outcome of animals in 2022.