According to figures from the 2021 Public Animal Shelters Report, released by the North Carolina Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services (NCDA&CS) in the spring of 2022, public animal shelters in North Carolina euthanasia approximately 75,668 dogs and 89,029 cats during the 2021 calendar year.
Totals and percentages in this article are based on calculations using reported data and may change if revised reports are released.
- Total CATS taken from NC public animal shelters in 2021: 89,029 (2020=79,617; 2019=108,260)
With 25,332 euthanizedit’s about 28% of cats that have been put to sleep in NC public animal shelters.
- Total number of DOGS admitted to NC public animal shelters in 2021: 75,668 (2020=69,123; 2019=104,685)
With 10,291 euthanizedIt’s over 13% of dogs that have been put to sleep in NC public animal shelters.
By comparison, pets euthanized the previous year (2020) numbered approximately 10,522 dogs and 25,254 cats; while the previous year (2019), those euthanized numbered around 19,723 dogs and 40,699 cats.
Note that the state’s public animal shelters also “take in” other animals, including wild animals and birds, and some of them were euthanized at the shelters, according to the report that shows euthanized animals. by number and location. The vast majority of animals received by NC public animal shelters are dogs or cats. Figures for dogs and cats, for several counties in North Carolina, are included below.
The Animal Welfare Section of the Veterinary Division of the NCDA&CS licenses public and private animal shelters and kennels. They also oversee the euthanasia technician certification program and collect shelter data on “sleeping” animals. For 2021, their report covers all animals handled by public animal shelters including county animal control facilities. Note that occasionally animals are transferred between shelters and may be counted twice.
The annual report includes data by species, the total number taken from each shelter by location, how many were adopted by a new owner, how many were returned to their owner and how many were euthanized. Pet and wild animal numbers are listed together under each shelter name.
The full 2021 report is publicly available at www.ncagr.gov/vet/aws/Fix/BytheNumbers.htm. Check out the report for yourself and see how shelters are performing in your county. Reports from previous years are also available via this link, with most including 2021 available as PDF and Excel files.
Ed. To note: Shelters report total costs and costs per animal in the report. Costs range from tens of dollars per animal to hundreds per animal… If residents routinely neutered their pets and the county “fixed” the feral cats, many housing costs could be avoided by the state. (Also, few pets that become pregnant and give birth may not require euthanasia services.)
Public Service Announcement: If you or someone you love has a pet that has not yet been spayed (females) or spayed (males), now is a good time to “fix” pets. company to ensure that unwanted offspring do not end up in shelters in the future. . If humans regularly repaired their pets, shelters could be empty of unwanted cats and dogs. (Some areas of the United States are so short of adoptable pets that animals from North Carolina shelters are being shipped to other states. North Carolina should be able to do what other states have done successfully.
Edgecombe County Animal Shelter
- Dogs rescued: 521
- Dogs euthanized: 90
- Percentage of dogs euthanized: 17.3%
In 2020, this shelter welcomed 572 dogs, including 95 euthanized.
In 2019, this shelter welcomed 119 dogs, 19 of which were euthanized.
In 2018, this shelter took in 92 dogs and euthanized 21.
- Cats collected: 509
- Euthanized cats: 222
- Percentage of euthanized cats: 43.6%
In 2020, this shelter welcomed 600 cats, euthanized 295.
In 2019, this shelter took in 139 cats and euthanized 60.
In 2018, this shelter took in 137 cats and euthanized 55.
Franklin County Animal Shelter
- Dogs rescued: 839
- Euthanized dogs: 74
- Percentage of dogs euthanized: 8.8%
In 2020, this shelter welcomed 807 dogs, euthanized 106.
In 2019, this shelter welcomed 1,324 dogs, euthanized 178
In 2018, this shelter took in 1,406 dogs and euthanized 212.
- Cats rescued: 1,037
- Euthanized cats: 307
- Percentage of euthanized cats: 29.6%
In 2020, this shelter welcomed 944 cats, euthanized 529.
In 2019, this shelter welcomed 1,187 cats, euthanized 619
In 2018, this shelter took in 1,093 cats and euthanized 456.
Johnston County Animal Services
- Dogs rescued: 1,502
- Euthanized dogs: 475
- Percentage of dogs euthanized: 31.6%
In 2020, this shelter welcomed 1,330 dogs, euthanized 336.
In 2019, this shelter welcomed 1,581 dogs, euthanized 500
In 2018, this shelter took in 1,776 dogs and euthanized 517.
- Cats rescued: 2,290
- Euthanized cats: 1,580
- Percentage of euthanized cats: 69.0%
In 2020, this shelter welcomed 2,055 people and euthanized 1,400.
In 2019, this shelter took in 2,242 cats and euthanized 1,739.
n 2018, this shelter took in 2,624 cats and euthanized 2,186.
Rocky Mount Services and Animal Shelter
- Dogs rescued: 493
- Dogs euthanized: 68
- Percentage of dogs euthanized: 13.8%
In 2020, this shelter welcomed 483, euthanized 61.
In 2019, this shelter took in 671 dogs and euthanized 77.
n 2018, this shelter took in 682 dogs and euthanized 85 of them.
- Cats collected: 472
- Euthanized cats: 258
- Percentage of euthanized cats: 54.7%
In 2020, this shelter welcomed 371 cats, euthanized 184.
In 2019, this shelter welcomed 385 cats, euthanized 215.
In 2018, this shelter welcomed 418 cats, euthanized 211.
Nash County Animal Control
Note: The numbers for this shelter were not included in the 2021 annual report, nor in the 2020 and 2019 reports.
In 2018, this shelter welcomed 748 dogs, euthanized 203 (27.1%).
In 2018, this shelter welcomed 1,167 cats, euthanized 940 (80.5%).
Wake County Raleigh Animal Care Control
- Dogs rescued: 3,577
- Dogs euthanized: 172
- Percentage of dogs euthanized: 4.8%
In 2020, this shelter took in 3,155 dogs and euthanized 370.
In 2019, this shelter took in 4,926 dogs and euthanized 117.
In 2018, this shelter took in 5,055 dogs and euthanized 674.
- Cats rescued: 3,931
- Euthanized cats: 385
- Percentage of euthanized cats: 9.8%
In 2020, this shelter welcomed 2,947 cats, euthanized 306.
In 2019, this shelter took in 5,043 cats and euthanized 742.
In 2018, this shelter took in 5,168 cats and euthanized 1,580.
Wayne Goldsboro County Adoption and Education Center
Note: Figures not included in 2021 status report.
In 2020, this shelter took in 1,603 dogs and euthanized 207.
In 2019, this shelter took in 2,045 dogs and euthanized 337.
In 2018, this shelter took in 2,058 dogs and euthanized 453.
In 2020, this shelter welcomed 1,485 cats, euthanized 630.
In 2019, this shelter took in 1,915 cats and euthanized 898.
In 2018, this shelter took in 2,049 cats and euthanized 1,105.
Wilson County Animal Shelter
- Dogs rescued: 969
- Euthanized dogs: 140
- Percentage of dogs euthanized: 14.4%
In 2020, this shelter took in 991 dogs and euthanized 91.
In 2019, this shelter took in 1,116 dogs and euthanized 191.
In 2018, this shelter took in 1,026 dogs and euthanized 148.
- Cats rescued: 1,039
- Euthanized cats: 669
- Percentage of euthanized cats: 64.4%
In 2020, this shelter took in 1,007 cats and euthanized 568.
In 2019, this shelter took in 1,045 cats and euthanized 610.
In 2018, this shelter took in 925 cats and euthanized 568.
Spay. Neutral. To fix.
There may be factors in some regions that contribute to high euthanasia rates. Differences in human populations, urban and rural budgets, and shelter budgets can impact adoption rates versus culled animals.
Culling animals cannot be considered a good way forward for the state of North Carolina – or any place in the United States.
None of the slaughtered animals can be helped now, obviously; however, if more humans “fix” their pets (both male and female), shelters may empty out over the next few years. Locally, this issue may disappear with a local patch.
Some areas of the United States have been so successful with neutering that unwanted animals are being shipped from other states for adoption!
If humans take the time to get their dogs and cats repaired, shelters could receive fewer animals. Fewer “undesirable” animals would exist to be euthanized.
Adopt from a shelter
Humans with space in their homes and hearts, money for animal food, and time to care for pets, are embracing animal shelters to help reduce euthanasia rates. Adopt a fixed animal or have it sterilized. By doing so, you are helping to reduce the number of animals that end up in shelters in your area.
Keep an animal for its entire lifespan. Although kittens and puppies are cute, they can look different as adults. When you adopt an animal, assume responsibility for it throughout its life.
If you cannot adopt any [more] animals, you can donate to an animal shelter without killing. Help them continue their work, which often involves removing animals from public shelters to save their lives.
The future doesn’t have to be a future with unwanted pets. Let’s work together to master this for our children and grandchildren. No healthy animal should be euthanized if humans do their part.
Ed. Note: All animals shown in photos were rescued. Red used above to highlight North Carolina shelters reporting over 51% of cats asleep (euthanized). Figures used for calculations provided in the Excel version of the Public Animal Shelters report. If you notice a miscalculation/typing error, please notify the editor.