Skip to Content

How Many Dogs Are Adopted Each Year?

How Many Dogs Are Adopted Each Year?

As an Amazon Associate, we may receive a small commission from qualifying purchases but at no extra cost to you. Learn more.

Loving, kind, compassionate, loyal, and always present – dogs are loved for many reasons around the world.

Since their domestication 14,000-29,000 years ago, they have changed many lives for the better.

Our canine friends are essentially better versions of ourselves. They never hold grudges, defend their owners with their dying breaths, and forgive no matter what.

No wonder they are now valuable members of the family.

Ever wondered how many dogs get adopted each year across the world?

 If you are a lover of the canine species as a whole, this thought has probably crossed your mind already.

There are so many sweet pups walking our planet that do not have a home.

Many of them enter shelters and adoption centers each year. Sadly, some are euthanized because of overpopulation and no available homes.

The lucky ones end up being adopted. So, just how many of them are adopted every year?

We have broken it down for you…

US Adoptions

The United States is on top of the list when it comes to being intentional about dog welfare – both pets and strays.

For starters, many dog activists and institutions are fighting for the rights of dogs.

Animal shelters alone stand at about 3500 in America while rescue groups and animal rescue groups are more than 10,000. This is not mentioning the long list of humane societies in the country.

Then there are many anti-cruelty laws with fines and jail terms for people that violate them.

Additionally, most US dogs are registered making it easy to account for them. The American citizens also love their pets deeply.

Naturally, the biggest dog and cat populations are found in North America. Currently, the country has close to 70 million dogs.

According to the ASPCA, about 3.1 million dogs arrive at US animal shelters on an annual basis. In 2011, this number stood at 3.9 million.

The decline is good news for everyone. Out of these, 2 million dogs are adopted each year. This means that 64.5% of dogs that make their way to shelters in the US find homes every year.

Unfortunately, the rest of them are not so lucky as they are put down due to limited resources.

There’s good news though—euthanized pets have reduced from 2.6 million in 2011 to 0.92 million in 2019.

The number of euthanized dogs in the United States has come down majorly because of increased adoptions.

Rather than buying pets from breeders, most American citizens prefer adopting to help animals as a whole.

Additionally, there are more pet owners now than a few decades ago. According to Pet Secure, pet ownership in the US has tripled since the 1970s.

More and more people want to enjoy the companionship, health benefits, and joy of owning a dog.

Numbers around the World

Besides America, there are other countries with stats on pet adoptions.

Here are a few that we could gather some data on:

1. China

China comes at a close second regarding the dog population in the world. In 2021, the country recorded 54.3 million dogs within its borders. 

Sadly, animal welfare is wanting in this part of the planet. Animals are raised in poor conditions and do not receive the necessary medical care.

Many of them are sold by unscrupulous breeders who want to profit from the sky-high demand.

To make matters worse, there are about 40 million stray dogs in China.

Approximately 11.8% of Chinese dogs are adopted while the rest are bought from pet stores.

Thankfully, dog campaigners are spreading the word to encourage more people to adopt rather than buy a dog.

2. The United Kingdom

According to the Pet Food Manufacturer’s Association (PFMA)’s annual data, the UK boasts 35 million pets in 2022.

13 million of these are dogs with the others being cats, hamsters, indoor birds, Guinea pigs, domestic fowl, rabbits, pigeons, horses, and tortoises.

Every year, about 130,000 dogs enter UK shelters and welfare organizations. The number of adopted animals stands at 1.5 million.

There’s no record showing the actual number of dogs that find their homes.

However, about two-thirds of the adopted animals are cats and kittens under 5 years.

It is thus safe to assume that the largest percentage of the remaining one-third include dogs.

 The good news is that the number of adopted dogs in the UK increased by 5% in 2022.

3. Japan

Japan has also come a long way when it comes to caring for dogs.

Sure, more pets are yet to be adopted but more people are embracing the idea.

During the pandemic, many of the country’s citizens acquired pets of all kinds.

According to Statista facts, the country had a total of 7.1 million pet dogs in 2021.

Between 2016 and 2020, about 50,000 animal shelters were reunited with their owners or adopted.

Hopefully, Japan’s pet ownership will go up in the coming years leading to more adoptions per year.

Final Thoughts

There it is- a quick insight on the number of dogs adopted each year around the globe.

It is clear that the adoption bug is yet to reach most countries.

 For now, we can hope for the best in the coming years. Dogs deserve much more than what they get currently.

Last Updated on July 21, 2022 by