New Data Shows that if 6 Percent More Americans Chose to Adopt Versus Purchase Pets, All U.S. Shelters Would Be No-Kill

Best Friends Animal Society
Media Contact
Alina Hauptman :

Kanab, UT (April 30, 2024) - Best Friends Animal Society, a leading animal welfare organization working to end the killing of dogs and cats in America’s shelters in 2025, is launching a national campaign on April 30 to celebrate Adopt a Shelter Pet Day and inspire pet lovers to help get more dogs and cats out of U.S. shelters and into loving homes.  

Best Friends new ‘Bring Love Home’ campaign comes at a time when pet adoption has been steadily declining over the last five years, with more people acquiring pets from breeders and pet stores. According to recent pet sheltering data from Best Friends, 2.3 million dogs and cats were adopted in 2023 - 345,000 fewer adoptions than in 2019 - with a net result of 415,000 adoptable dogs and cats being killed in shelters last year.  

“Roughly 7 million people in America are planning to acquire a pet this year, and if just 6 percent more people chose to adopt versus purchase their pets, we would end the killing of dogs and cats in our nation’s shelters,” said Julie Castle, CEO, Best Friends Animal Society.  “Pets don’t belong in shelters, they belong at home. Our ‘Bring Love Home’ campaign is designed to bring awareness to dogs and cats still being killed in U.S. shelters simply because they don’t have safe places to call home.”

Starting April 30, the campaign invites pet lovers nationwide to submit videos and photos of their dogs and cats at home for a chance for their pets to be featured in Best Friends’ national campaign.  

Best Friends will also launch on April 30 with a pop-up ‘Home’ in the middle of New York City - Times Square - complete with a living room and backyard filled with adoptable dogs. Starting the day of the activation, and continuing through May and June, adoption fees at all Best Friends locations will be covered — thanks to Blue Buffalo and Walmart.

“We hope our new campaign will bring attention to all the wonderful dogs and cats sitting in shelters waiting to go home,” said Castle. “This is a highly solvable issue that we know people care about. If we can just get more animal lovers to help in some way – to adopt their next pet, advocate for the animals, or donate, we can make this country a better place for our best friends.”  

To learn more about how you can help support Best Friends' newest campaign to get more pets into homes, visit 

About the Dataset

Since 2016 when Best Friends set a bold goal to take the country no-kill by 2025, we’ve undertaken a massive effort to collect information from every shelter across the country. That meant starting at ground-level, because in 2016 no one even knew how many animal shelters there were in the country. Back then we collected data with volunteers doing records searches and calling shelters. In recent years, rather than working harder, we’ve learned to work smarter, and this year is the smartest yet. 

About Best Friends Animal Society

Best Friends Animal Society is a leading animal welfare organization working to end the killing of dogs and cats in America’s shelters by 2025. Founded in 1984, Best Friends is a pioneer in the no-kill movement and has helped reduce the number of animals killed in shelters from an estimated 17 million per year to around 400,000 last year. Best Friends runs lifesaving programs across the country, as well as the nation’s largest no-kill animal sanctuary. Working collaboratively with a network of more than 4,700 animal welfare and shelter partners, and community members nationwide, Best Friends is working to Save Them All®. For more information, visit