Data show shelters need community support; Euthanasia increasing as more dogs enter shelters than leave

Published 10:09 am Tuesday, July 11, 2023


Danville-Boyle County Humane Society

Shelter Animals Count, the most trusted and current source for animal sheltering data, recently released Intake and Outcome Data Analysis report for Q1 2023.

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From SAC: “Getting (and keeping) dogs out of overburdened shelters is essential right now, as data shows that not only are more dogs entering shelters than are leaving, and the euthanasia rate for dogs has nearly doubled from Q1 2021 to Q1 2023.”

Danville-Boyle County Humane Society’s intake and euthanasia rates contradict the national data, thanks to a consultation with a third-party expert in 2019. In 2020 DBCHS implemented and managed intake to reduce the number of incoming animals and lower the euthanasia rate. See the accompanying graphs for details.

For example, DBCHS developed safety nets to assist pet owners, including a Pet Food Pantry, supported self-rehoming through, the Community Cat Program to trap/neuter/vaccinate and return healthy free-roaming cats to their outdoor homes, and the Keeping Them Together fund that provides grants for critical veterinary care. DBCHS’s investment in community programming has increased by 80% since 2018, leading to a 95% decrease in euthanasia.

According to Kari Kuh, DBCHS executive director, “Danville-Boyle County residents care deeply about companion animals and have taken advantage of the safety nets in place, leaving the humane society with space to care for abused, neglected, and abandoned animals.”

SAC data indicates that 4% more animals entered shelters than left in 2022, the most significant gap in four years and an issue that DBCHS has mostly avoided. However, according to Kuh, “In the first quarter of 2022, pets were housed at the humane society for an average of 17 days before rescue or adoption; in the first quarter this year, it’s increased to 76 days.” That increase is a result of the decreasing adoptions.

“Our animals desperately need adopters and fosters to move pets into new homes quickly, and the only way we can make that happen is with help from our community. We’re grateful for residents’ support in making the shelter a last resort, and we encourage people to visit the humane society and adopt a pet.”

About Shelter Animals Count (SAC): SAC is a collaborative, industry-led nonprofit organization formed by a diverse group of animal welfare agencies to create and share The National Database of sheltered animal statistics, providing facts and enabling insights that will improve animal welfare throughout the country.

About the Danville-Boyle County Humane Society (DBCHS): DBCHS is a non-profit 501 (c)(3) established in 1972 that promotes the humane treatment of animals through compassionate care, engagement, and support. To donate, please visit or mail a check to DBCHS P.O. Box 487, Danville, KY 40423-0487. Every gift is appreciated.