Most dogs in America start off life in a precarious or interrupted ownership situation, with about half of these dogs passing through an animal shelter.
In April of 2015, Moore Information opinion research was commissioned to do a poll about Dog Ownership and Sources of Pet Dogs in the U.S. The poll was quite well done, with 1,500 live interviews of people age 18 and over, using land lines and cell phones. The poll has a sampling error of +/- 3 percent, and a confidence interval of 95 percent.
So what did they find?
- 44% of households own a dog. Of these households, 49 percent of Caucasians, 32 percent of African Americans, 42 percent of Hispanics, and 36 percent of "others" owned dogs. Total "non-Caucasian" dog ownership was 37 percent.. .
- Of folks who have dogs, 58 percent had one dog, 26 percent had two dogs, 10 percent had three dogs, 3 percent had four dogs, and 4 percent had five or more dogs.
- Most dogs do not come from commercial sources. 34 percent of dogs came from friends or neighbors, 26 percent came from an animal shelter, 5 percent had been found as strays, 3 percent had come from a rescue, 2 percent had come from a family member, and 2 percent had been pups born to another dog in the house. Only 22 percent of dogs were reported to come from a "small local breeder," with 7 percent from a pet store, and 3 percent from the "Internet".
- A full 52 percent of folks had no idea where their dog had been as a puppy, signaling that MOST dogs are bounced about and do not end up with their original "puppy owner". Another 4 percent of puppies had come from an animal shelter, and 2 percent were found on the street as a stray. In short, 58 percent of all dogs started off life in a precarious or interrupted ownership situation, with about half of these dogs passing through an animal shelter.
- Not reported on the PowerPoint from Moore Information, but stated elsewhere as a conclusion of this survey, is that Americans own approximately 89 million dogs -- a sum about 10 million higher than reported by previous researchers.