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How is your community doing when it comes to lifesaving?
Last year, about 347,000 dogs and cats were killed in our nation’s shelters just because they didn’t have safe places to call home. But people like you are changing that. View the data to find out how to help save more lives.

National Overview

Click on a state to select a specific community.

 

Help our shelters achieve no-kill by 2025

Just five years ago, nearly 1.5 million cats and dogs were being killed in America’s shelters because shelters didn’t have the community support or the resources they needed to save them.

In 2016, Best Friends committed to change that by 2025, and while incredible progress has been made, we need your help now more than ever to get across the finish line.

No-kill is a collaboration between shelters and their community. The first step is for individuals to understand the progress being made in their own community and to know how they can help. And that is the purpose of the pet lifesaving dashboard. 

Whether you have 20 minutes or 20 hours a week, you can save lives. Dive into the dashboard to find out how. 

— U.S. SHELTER STATISTICS —
4,300,000

Cats and dogs

entered shelters

3,500,000

Cats and dogs

were saved Of the 4.3 million cats and dogs entering shelters in 2020, 3.5 million were saved.

4,404

Total number of shelters

in the U.S. For a definition of “shelter,” please see dashboard methodology.

48%

Percentage of U.S. shelters

that are no-kill Of the 4,404 shelters in the U.S., 48% have achieved a save rate of 90% or more. For more information, see dashboard methodology

a sitting brown and white dog

About no-kill

No-kill means saving every dog or cat in a shelter who can be saved. But it’s helpful to have a way to measure lifesaving progress as we move forward together, which is where the 90% benchmark comes in.

A 90% save rate for animals entering a shelter is a meaningful and common-sense benchmark for measuring lifesaving progress.

Typically, the number of pets who are suffering from irreparable medical or behavioral issues that compromise their quality of life and prevent them from being rehomed is not more than 10% of all dogs and cats entering shelters. Therefore, we designate shelters meeting the 90% save-rate benchmark as no-kill.

The ultimate goal, however, is to ensure that every shelter has the resources they need to save every dog and cat who can be saved – whether that exact number is 90% or something else. But first, we want to help every shelter in every community reach the 90% no-kill benchmark by 2025.

What does no-kill mean?

 

No-kill gap by state

The no-kill gap is the number of cats and dogs who would have to be saved in order to achieve the 90% save rate benchmark.

Alabama
16,825
Alaska
617
Arizona
6,325
Arkansas
6,718
California
39,111
Colorado
1,376
Connecticut
281
Delaware
0
Florida
24,289
Georgia
14,735
Hawaii
9,168
Idaho
1,728
Illinois
10,365
Indiana
8,552
Iowa
2,350
Kansas
1,971
Kentucky
7,132
Louisiana
15,288
Maine
199
Maryland
5,619
Massachusetts
1,620
Michigan
9,714
Minnesota
3,380
Mississippi
5,417
Missouri
3,777
Montana
444
Nebraska
2,378
Nevada
3,615
New Hampshire
0
New Jersey
2,918
New Mexico
6,069
New York
2,992
North Carolina
27,031
North Dakota
510
Ohio
3,836
Oklahoma
11,560
Oregon
612
Pennsylvania
6,529
Rhode Island
18
South Carolina
8,005
South Dakota
1,824
Tennessee
4,740
Texas
52,106
Utah
829
Vermont
53
Virginia
6,940
Washington
1,498
West Virginia
2,739
Wisconsin
1,704
Wyoming
562
See more statewide data for where you live. To see how the no-kill gap is calculated, please refer to the dashboard methodology.