Research Outline

Dog Adoption in the U.S.


To find information on where the 5 million adopted dogs are adopted from in the U.S.

Early Findings

Dog Adoption

  • Best Friends Animal Society research and data analysis identified the shelters that took in the most dogs and cats in the U.S. and are summarized them here. Assuming that these shelters also facilitate the highest number of adoption in the U.S., it can be concluded that they played a crucial part in the recent adoption of the 5 million dogs.
  • According to the Humane Society of the United States, there are an estimated 3,500 brick-and-mortar shelters and an estimated 10,000 rescue groups and animal sanctuaries in the U.S.
  • On the other hand, statistics from Best Friend Animal Society show that in the U.S. there are a total of 4,850 shelters of which 2,212 are no-kill shelters.
  • The Human Society's statistics pointed out that in the 2019-2020 period, 44% of dogs acquired in the U.S. were acquired from shelters or rescue centers.
  • According to IBIS World, the biggest companies in the animal rescue shelters industry in the U.S. include American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, Humane Society of the United States, North Shore Animal League America, and Dedication & Everlasting Love to Animals.