The Association for Animal Welfare Advancement releases new data on the impact of COVID-19 on shelter animals

Posted on: October 07, 2021

The Association for Animal Welfare Advancement has released official data from the Shelter Animals Count National Database regarding the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on shelter animals.

The following linked report provides a look at comparative data on sheltered animals from the first six months of each of the last three years: 2019, 2020, and 2021. The data was limited to organizations that reported complete data
to Shelter Animals Count for all 18 months (n=341).

The goal of this report is to give a comparative overview of how the COVID-19 pandemic may have affected the rates at and methods by which animals are moving in and out of shelters in the United States.

Highlights of the Report include:

• The overall data shows live outcomes are up, as a percentage of overall intake. In 2019, 85% of shelter pets had a live outcome. In 2020, about 89% of shelter pets had a live outcome. In 2021, that number is about 90%; a small but notable increase.

• Despite a number of alarmist headlines, pet owners and adopters do not appear to be returning or surrendering animals en masse. 2021 saw only a 0.56% (less than 1%) increase in intake over 2020. From 2019 to 2021, we see nearly a 25% drop in intakes. “Owner surrenders”—pets given up by their owners to animal shelters—are down 23% in 2021, from 2019.

• While lower intake means fewer animals available to be adopted, the data shows a greater percentage of the animals who are in shelters are getting adopted. In 2019, 53% of shelter pets were adopted, and in 2021 that has increased to almost 58%.

• Shelter euthanasia has continued to decrease through 2020 and into 2021. In 2021, 7% of all outcomes were shelter euthanasia. That number was 11% in 2019, and 8% in 2020. (The Humane Society of Charlotte operates under a no-kill philosophy).

To read the full report, please click HERE.