The number of dog and cat adoptions from animal shelters is dropping causing the deaths of many dogs.

According to, The number of stray dogs that animal shelters are currently taking in has increased by 8 percent since last year and 26 percent since 2021.  In addition to the increase in take, adoption rates are dropping.  This is creating big problems for non-profit animal shelters around Michigan and the entire U.S.  This has led to a sharp increase in dogs being euthanized according to a report from,

About 51,000 dogs were euthanized from January to July 2023, a 37% increase from that same period in 2022, according to data submitted by organizations that report to SAC.

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Many animal shelters are getting filled to capacity post-pandemic more than ever during pre-pandemic times.  Shelters find themselves in a dark place where they can't afford to feed or medically treat the animals in their care.  This leads to shelters that do not have a no-kill policy increasing the number of dogs and cats they euthanize.

Reasons Why Animal Intake is Up and Adoptions Are Down

  • Pandemic
  • Inflation
  • Designer Dogs


During the pandemic, people were stuck at home and lonely leading to a huge jump in pet adoptions according to Vox,

Millions of Americans turned to animals for comfort in the early days of the COVID-19 pandemic, adopting and fostering cats and dogs from shelters at record rates.

Sadly, many pets were returned to shelters when people went back to work and/or school and returned to their busy lives.


Inflation simply increases the cost of everything from vet bills to food and other pet accessories.  That not only affects families that adopt dogs and cats, it also negatively affects animal shelters.

Designer Dogs

Rates of people purchasing pets from a pet store or breeder have increased at the same time adoptions are dropping.  Every time we purchase a pet from a breeder we are contributing to the pet overpopulation which leads to shelter overcrowding and high rates of euthanasia.

Katie Timber, Executive Director of the SPCA of Southwest Michigan had this to say about the current downward trend in pet adoptions,

We are working every day to support the animals we can; this is a devastating challenge we will need our community for.

How Can You Help?


When you are ready to add a fur baby to your family, adopt from an animal shelter.  Please do not purchase from a store or breeder.


Most animal shelters are non-profit and rely heavily on volunteers to help take care of these adorable animals while they wait for their forever homes.


If you don't have the time or proper living arrangement to adopt but still want to help, you can help keep these animals fed and treated by with donations.

5 Dogs That Have Been at the SPCA of SW Michigan for 1 to 3 Years

These dogs are kind, caring, and cuddly. And, yet, they've been unable to find a home for years. Let's change that today.

Gallery Credit: SPCA of SW Michigan

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