Big change from 2014
About half of the dogs in U.S. shelters as of June 2015 were housed by tax-funded animal care and control facilities, 25% were housed by open-admission humane societies, and 25% were housed by selective admission no-kill shelters and rescues, according to the annual ANIMALS 24-7 summer survey of shelter dog inventory.
The numbers showed a significant shift from a year earlier, and from previous years, when about two-thirds of the dog inventory were housed by tax-funded animal care and control facilities, but only about 10% were kept by selective admission no-kill shelters and rescues.
The change appears to reflect an abrupt increase in the volume of dogs transferred from tax-funded animal care and control facilities to agencies promising to give dogs a better chance of adoption.
Open admissions have 87% of pit bulls
However, tax-funded animal care and control facilities and open-admission humane societies continue to hold about 87% of the pit bulls arriving at animal shelters, of whom at least 60% are eventually killed, usually for a combination of behavioral reasons and lack of rehoming prospects. This is down from circa 90% killed between 1993 and 2003.
About 1.2 million pit bulls and close pit mixes, a third of the total U.S. pit bull population in any given year, currently enter animal shelters.
Of the dogs housed in animal care and control facilities and open-admission humane societies, 32% were pit bulls in June 2015, the same as in June 2014 and consistent with previous findings in every year since 2003.
Of the dogs housed in selective admission no-kill shelters, 13% were identified as pit bulls in June 2015, down by half from June 2014. However, pit bulls may have been significantly under-counted in 2015, due to an increasing trend toward identifying suspected pix mixes as other breeds to try to enhance their adoptability.
Pit bulls and their recognizable mixes together are about 6% of the total U.S. dog population, according to the June 2015 ANIMALS 24-7 survey of classified ads offering dogs for sale or adoption.
Chihuahuas were 14% of the shelter dog inventory in 2013, and declined to 12% in 2014, but rebounded back to 14% in 2015.
Chihuahuas peaked at 18% of the shelter dog inventory in 2012, after 20 years of steadily increasing intakes, most markedly in California, with several other hotspots in other parts of the country. As of June 2015, animal care and control agencies and open admission humane societies reported that 17% of their dog inventory were Chihuahuas; Chihuahuas were 11% of the inventory at no-kill and selective admission shelters.
22 years of data
Initiated in 1993, the ANIMALS 24-7 annual shelter dog inventory surveys provide data used in combination with several separate surveys to assemble a comprehensive portrait of progress in dog population control.
The June 2014 ANIMALS 24-7 dog inventory survey brought responses from a geographically and institutionally representative sampling of 50 shelters, housing 6,642 dogs––about 3% of the total estimated U.S. shelter dog population at any given time.