How Many Shelter Animals Are Saved Near You?

When every shelter in a community reaches a 90% save rate, it's designated as 'no kill.'. Best Friends Animal Society

Last year, about 733,000 dogs and cats were euthanized in the U.S., according to Best Friends Animal Society. That's a national save rate of about 76.6%.

With the motto, "Save them all," the group is working to reach achieve no-kill for dogs and cats at shelters nationwide by 2025.

But "no kill" isn't as straightforward as it sounds. Most rescue organizations define the term with caveats. It typically means saving healthy and treatable animals, with euthanasia reserved for only those animals who are severely unhealthy and who can't be rehabilitated. Best Friends defines "no kill" as when nine out of 10 dogs leave a shelter alive.

To show how much progress has been made and where, the group put together an interactive graphic. The dashboard uses information from three decades of rescue work from Best Friends and its network of more than 2,700 local partners. They found that the number of animals killed has dropped from 17 million in 1984 to fewer than 733,000 dogs and cats in 2018.

Delaware makes headlines

With the dashboard, you can click on your state, your community and your local shelter for statistics on how many animals entered shelters, how many were saved and how many were euthanized.

According to the data, Delaware is the first state to reach no-kill status. In Texas, 114,000 animals were killed last year. That's the most in the country, followed by California, where 111,000 animals died. North Carolina, Florida and Georgia also had high euthanasia rates with between 42,000 and 60,000 animals killed each year.

The hope with releasing the information, says Best Friends, is that community members will use the tool to see which shelters need help and work to support them.

"We know animal lovers want to support their local shelters and to save their pets. By using national animal shelter data, we hope to inspire community action that will truly have an impact and help us achieve our goal of no-kill by 2025," said Julie Castle, Best Friends CEO.

If you want to see how your state or community is performing, check out Best Friends' map.