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Proven Strategies, Proven Impact

Thanks to you, 3.6 million cats and dogs were saved in shelters across the country in 2022.

From tiny kittens to senior pups, that’s 3.6 million reasons to celebrate as Best Friends works with animal welfare partners and caring people like you to lead the United States to no-kill in 2025.

Numbers to Celebrate in 2022

National Save Rate Statistic Percentage of No-Kill Shelters statistic Reduction in number of pets killed statistic
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Still, the situation is urgent for homeless pets

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4.4 million pets entered America’s shelters in 2022, an increase of nearly 2% since 2021.

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378,000 dogs and cats were killed in America’s shelters. That’s roughly 1,000 per day.

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Dog adoptions lost ground to breeder purchases. In 2022, dogs made up 45% of the animals killed in America’s shelters, a steep increase from 30% in 2021.


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Overall, shelters experienced a higher volume of intakes, while adoptions and fostering did not keep pace.

Yet we're optimistic. Here's Why:

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Setbacks Are Concentrated And Solvable

Just 1% of shelters make up nearly 60% of the increase in dogs and cats killed.

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More shelters are no-kill than ever before

Of the 3,943 shelters in the United States, 57% of them are now no-kill. This is an increase from 52% in 2021.

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No-kill is Sustainable

No-kill isn’t just possible, it’s sustainable. Nationwide, 93% of shelters that were no-kill in 2021 remained  no-kill in 2022.

A National Initiative to Save Them All

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Partners and Places

Best Friends works with more than 4,200 shelter and rescue partners across all 50 states. More than 550 new partners joined the Best Friends Network in 2022.   

Focused Impact

We’ve collected data for 95% of pets in America’s shelters, which tells us where help is needed most and which animals are most at risk.   

Lifesaving Solutions

Best Friends is investing in proven programs that help shelters save more lives and inspire action.   

The Road Map to No-Kill Nationwide

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Saving Lives

Giving dogs and cats at our sanctuary and lifesaving centers all the love and care they need  to find homes of their own

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Helping Shelters

Supporting shelters and rescue groups with the tools, resources, and guidance they need to save more lives and achieve no-kill in their community

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Rallying Supporters

Inspiring more people to adopt, foster, volunteer, and advocate for homeless pets


No More Homeless Pets

While 2022 was a challenging year for our nation’s shelters, we’re so grateful for the progress we’ve made.

Thanks to you, we are moving toward the day when there are no more homeless pets — but only if we keep working hard to meet our shared goal. Together, we will Save Them All.

To see how your community is progressing on the path to no-kill, check out the latest  animal shelter statistics.