While it’s impossible to know everything about a dog before you buy, it’s important to do your research and have at least a decent idea of what you’re getting into before you enter into a years long relationship with your new best friend. According to the ASPCA’s National Rehoming Survey, pet problems are the most common reason (47%) owners re-home their dog.  Pet problems were defined as problematic behaviors, aggressive behaviors, grew larger than expected, or health problems owner couldn’t handle. Sadly, many of these issues could be avoided with increased knowledge prior to the purchase. Approximately 3.3 million dogs enter U.S. animal shelters nationwide each year. Thankfully, this number has declined in recent years from 7.2 million in 2011 but there’s still room for improvement (based on Shelter Animals Count data).

It may be obvious but why should we care if it improves? Aside from the thought of a dog not having a family and home, approximately 670,000 dogs are euthanized every year. This number has also declined since 2011 with improvements in the percentage of dogs adopted from shelters and the number of dogs successfully returned to their owners. Approximately 1.6 million dogs are now adopted each year! There’s been somewhat of a nationwide movement to adopt, which is helping the adopted number each year and we’re hopeful those adoptions last for the life of the animal.

APPA Most common sources from which dogs are obtained:

Animal Shelter/Humane Society 23%
Friends/Relatives 20%
Breeder 34%
Stray 6%
Private Party 12%
Other 32%


(Note: this information was based on a multiple response question, which results in the total % exceeding 100% individually for cats and dogs.  In addition, the ‘other’ category includes all source categories that were reported by <10% of both dog and cat owners)

None of this is to say don’t get a dog (44% of US households have a dog) or only adopt—just know what you’re getting into so the euthanized pet problem decreases rather than increases. And, if you’re in a position to help out, reach out to your local shelter to show your support. Almost all shelters have multiple ways to help whether it be monetarily or with your time and energy. We currently support RSQ Dogs+ through donations and volunteer time.

Let us know what you’re doing to help—we always loving hearing from our customers!