According to the ASPCA, there are approximately 5,000 independent animal shelters in the United States. Of the millions of pets that enter an animal shelter each year, approximately 60 percent of the dogs, and 70 percent of the cats, end up being euthanized. National estimates show that the pets entering an animal shelter each year are about evenly divided between pets picked up by animal control and owner surrenders. According to the National Council on Pet Population Study and Policy, more than 20 percent of the pets surrendered to an animal shelter were originally adopted from a shelter.
The bottom line: it’s great to adopt a pet from a shelter, but remember that adoption is a lifelong commitment.