Shelters Shuffle Cats, Reduce Euthanasia

Fewer cats go to shelters and fewer cats are euthanized thanks to redistribution, report says.

The positive downward trend of feline intakes and euthanasia at animal welfare organizations continued in November, according to the November Petpoint Report.

Intakes of cats declined 6% and euthanasia of cats decreased 4% in November compared to the year-ago period. Owner surrender and stray cat intakes declined year over year by 5% and 9%, respectively, in November, while adoptions and returns to owners increased by 2% and 5%.

Most of the changes to the cat populations at cat shelters in November are consistent with year over year trends over the past six months, according to the report, including a decrease in transfers of cats into shelters from other organizations (9%) and an increase in transfers out of shelters (13%).

“The increasing transfer activity points to organizations’ increasing ability to reduce feline euthanasia through redistribution,” said Brad Grucelski, vice president, Petpoint Solutions at parent company Pethealth Inc. “As reported last month, the increasing return of lost cats to their owners suggests more cat owners are using appropriate methods of pet identification, such as microchips and external ID tags.”

Total intakes of dogs decreased 1% in November compared to the year-ago period, including a 4% drop in intakes of strays. Euthanasia of dogs at animal welfare organizations declined 3%, and overall outcomes increased 4%, including a 15% increase in dogs transferred from shelters to other organizations.

Data in the Petpoint Report is aggregated via the Petpoint Animal Management Software, produced by Canadian company Pethealth, Inc., based in Oakville, Ontario. The cloud-based software is the most widely used animal management application in North American animal welfare, according to Pethealth Inc. The November report aggregated data from 934 animal welfare organizations and includes data on 126,092 dogs and cats that entered shelters during the month and 132,503 that left shelters for the same period.

Population changes reported in November compared to the year-ago period include:
•    Intakes of cats into shelters decreased 6% to 58,573;

•    Owner surrenders of cats decreased 5% to 20,750;

•    Returns of cats to shelters from owners previously adopting from the same organization increased 5% to 2,013;

•    Intakes of stray cats decreased 9% to 27,113;

•    Transfers of cats in from other shelters increased 8% to 5,706;

•    Seizures of cats conducted by law enforcement organizations decreased 8% to 2,991.

•    Intakes of dogs decreased 1% to 67,519;

•    Owner surrenders of dogs decreased 2% to 20,099;

•    Returns of dogs previously adopted from the same organizations remained at 3,425;

•    Intakes of stray dogs decreased 4% to 24,469;

•    Transfers of dogs into shelters increased 1% to 13,303;

•    Seizures of dogs conducted by law enforcement agencies increased 8% to 6,223;

•    Total cats leaving shelters decreased 4% to 64,622;

•    Adoptions of cats increased 2% to 29,585;

•    Euthanasia of cats decreased 13% to 37,084;

•    Transfers of cats out of reporting shelters to other organizations increased 13% to 3,523;

•    Returns of cats to their owners increased 9% to 1,496;

•    Cat deaths for reasons other than euthanasia increased 10% to 1,517;

•    Total dogs leaving shelters increased 4% to 67,881;

•    Adoptions of dogs increased 5% to 32,035;

•    Euthanasia of dogs decreased 3% to 19,092;

•    Transfers of dogs from reporting shelters to other organizations increased 15% to 7,569;

•    Returns of dogs to their owners increased 2% to 8,263;

•    Dog deaths for reasons other than euthanasia increased 42% to 922.

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