15 Heartbreaking UK Animal Homelessness Statistics to Know in 2022

The statistics of this article are from third party sources and do not represent the opinion of this website.

The UK is said to be a country of animal lovers and the numbers support this. Figures vary but British households have between 17 and 25 million cats and dogs, and a total of over 50 million pets of different species and breeds. However, dig a little deeper, and you’ll find that not all animals enjoy the same level of love and care. About a quarter of a million pets end up in shelters each year, and these shelters don’t have the space or resources to deal with them, resulting in 21 dogs being euthanized every day. Read on for more worrying facts about UK animal homelessness and pet abandonment statistics including:

  • Pet ownership and general homelessness statistics
  • Dog homeless statistics
  • Statistics about homeless cats

multiple-divider15 of the UK’s Most Shocking Animal Homeless Statistics

  1. There are 9 million pet dogs and 8 million pet cats in the UK.
  2. More than 50 million pets live in 12 million households.
  3. About 250,000 animals go to the rescue every year.
  4. There are 1.1 million homeless pets living in the UK.
  5. 21 dogs are euthanized every day because they cannot be repatriated.
  6. In 6 years, an unneutered female dog and her offspring can produce 67,000 puppies.
  7. Only 17% of owners adopt their dogs from shelters and rescues.
  8. A quarter of new dog owners impulsively buy puppies during the Covid lockdown.
  9. 15% of new dog owners worry they won’t be able to afford their puppy.
  10. 15% of new dog owners admit that they are not ready for a new puppy.
  11. It is believed there are 67,000 stray dogs living on the streets of England.
  12. In 7 years, an unneutered female cat and her offspring can have 370,000 kittens.
  13. 2.6 million cats were not microchipped.
  14. There are about 1 million feral cats.
  15. In some cities, there are more than 50 feral cats per square kilometer.

UK homeless statistics

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Pet Ownership And Homeless Animals General

1. There are 9 million pet dogs and 8 million pet cats in the UK.

(British Parliament)

Despite their approaching numbers, dogs remain the UK’s most popular pet with 9 million loyal companions in British homes. There are also 8 million pet cats. These numbers are estimates as many owners still don’t have their pets microchipped so it’s impossible to trace the exact numbers. Some sources claim the figure could be as high as 12 million dogs and the same number of cats.

three spinone italiano dogs


2. More than 50 million pets live in 12 million households.

(PFMA)

Although dogs and cats are the most popular and common pets, people keep a number of other animals. Small caged animals such as hamsters and guinea pigs remain popular because they require less care and lower maintenance costs than dogs and cats. Rabbits, however, are the third most popular pet. More exotic animals such as lizards and snakes are becoming increasingly popular because they are easier to hold, and there is more information about these animals. Smaller and exotic animals are not microchipped so figures are estimated, but the Association of Pet Food Manufacturers (PFMA) claims that there are 51 million pets, including fish and birds, living in 12 million households across the country.

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3. About 250,000 animals go to the rescue every year.

(British Parliament)

For various reasons, people abandon their pets every year. These pets are left to live on the streets, where they will be malnourished and often die, or they are taken to shelters and rescue centers. In fact, a quarter of a million animals per year, or nearly 700 animals per day, are sent to shelters.


4. There are 1.1 million homeless pets living in the UK.

(Mars Animal Care)

In addition to the approximately 42,000 cats and dogs currently in shelters, yet to be repatriated, there are 1.1 million cats and dogs living on the streets or stray. These animals are often abandoned by their previous owners but they also get lost. Wild animals are animals that are not microchipped and leave the house and cannot find their way back home again. By law, all dogs must be microchipped in the UK, and a similar law will be passed for cats.

Dog in shelter

Homeless Dog

5. 21 dogs are euthanized every day because they cannot be repatriated.

(MAP)

Unfortunately, shelters and rescues are overcrowded with more animals and there are far more cats and dogs than potential owners. This means that many animals are euthanized, with some shelters running strict time-based policies. If a perfectly healthy and well-adapted dog doesn’t find a new home within the allotted time, they will be put to sleep.


6. In 6 years, an unneutered female dog and her offspring can produce 67,000 puppies.

(MAP)

Dogs usually reach sexual maturity between 6 and 12 months of age and it is important to have the dog neutered or spayed, as this will help reduce the number of unwanted dogs finding their way into shelters. A single female dog can have as many as 3 liters in a year, and the average size of one litter is 6 puppies. This means that an unneutered female, her offspring, and their offspring, can produce 67,000 puppies in 6 years.


7. Only 17% of owners adopt their dogs from shelters and rescues.

(STATISTA)

There are many reasons people choose to buy a dog rather than adopting it from a shelter. Some potential owners want a certain breed while others are wary of the reasons dogs were abandoned in the first place. As a result, less than one in five dog owners get their pets from shelters. Other sources include breeders, pet stores, puppy mills, and family and friends.

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shelter-volunteer-feeding-dog


8. A quarter of new dog owners impulsively buy puppies during the Covid lockdown.

(Kennel Club)

At the beginning of the Covid lockdown, many people turned to physical activity as a means to stay fit, healthy, and pass the time. The extra walks and time outdoors make many people consider a new pet. One in four new dog owners get their new puppy during the lockdown.


9. 15% of new dog owners worry they won’t be able to afford their puppy.

(Kennel Club)

While there’s basically nothing wrong with getting a new puppy as a means to encourage more physical activity, research shows that 15% of new dog owners worry that they won’t be able to afford the ongoing maintenance and costs of their new dog. pet. Estimates suggest that puppies can cost between £100 and £200 per month.


10. 15% of new dog owners admit that they are not ready for a new puppy.

(Kennel Club)

A similar percentage of new owners also admit that they are not really ready for a new puppy. Owners are encouraged to research the impact of owning a dog as they require a lot of attention. It’s harder to find time to devote an hour of sightseeing a day when returning to work full time.


11. It is believed there are 67,000 stray dogs living on the streets of England.

(Mars Animal Care)

There are various reasons why dogs go wild. They may have been born to stray dogs themselves. Or, they may have owned a home once and the owner no longer wanted it, or the dog was not microchipped and ran away from home. An estimated 67,000 such dogs live on the streets, in abandoned buildings and in other locations around the UK.

two women at the animal shelter

Homeless Cat

12. In 7 years, an unneutered female cat and her offspring can have 370,000 kittens.

(MAP)

Cats are even more productive than dogs, and an unneutered female cat, and her offspring, can produce 370,000 unwanted kittens in just 7 years.


13. 2.6 million cats were not microchipped.

(Cat Protection)

Cat microchipping allows owners to reunite with their cat if they are lost or out. The process requires a tiny microchip to be placed under the cat’s skin. Veterinarians and animal welfare officers can scan cats, find chips, and find owner details using a microchip registry. This not only benefits the owner and the cat, but also helps reduce the total number of stray cats on the streets and the number that end up in shelters. Despite this, and the forthcoming microchip law, the more than 2.5 million owned cats remain unregistered.

Shelter cat


14. There are about 1 million feral cats.

(Mars Animal Care)

Similar to dogs, cats can get lost for a variety of reasons. In addition to cats born from stray cats, the population of feral cats is also large. Liar means a pet that has returned to the wild life. Feral cats can live in fields, barns, and around farms, but they can also live in urban environments. In total, there are more than 1 million feral and feral cats in the UK.

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15. In some cities, there are more than 50 feral cats per square kilometer.

(Scientific Report)

Feral and feral cats tend to live in areas where there is a lot of food. This is why they congregate around farms: there is a breeding ground for seeds and feed that attract rats and other prey. It’s also why they live in urban areas, where they can scavenge from trash cans and other sources. In fact, in some cities, it is estimated that there are more than 50 feral cats for every square kilometer of space.

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Frequently Asked Questions About Homeless Animals

How Many Stray Dogs Are There In The UK?

While it is impossible to know the exact number, it is estimated that there are at least 67,000 stray dogs in the UK. Dogs are abandoned because their owners can’t handle them, can’t afford the care, or don’t get along with them. (Mars Animal Care)

sad dog in shelter

How Many Stray Cats Are There In The UK?

Again, it’s impossible to give exact figures but best guesses suggest around a million feral and feral cats. Apart from those who live on the streets of towns and cities, where they eat garbage and leftovers, there are many rural residents who live in barns and on farms. (Mars Animal Care)

How Many Wild Animals Are There In The UK?

With 67,000 stray dogs and 1 million feral cats, there are at least 1.1 million stray animals in the UK. (Mars Animal Care)

kitten in a shelter

Is It Illegal To Leave Dogs In The UK?

According to the Abandonment of Animals Act 1960, it is a criminal offense to knowingly abandon an animal if it is likely to “cause the animal needless suffering”. This means that while it is illegal to throw a dog out into the street, it is generally not considered illegal to hand a dog over to an animal shelter.

multiple-dividerConclusion

While the numbers do show that the UK is an animal lover country, and most pet owners take good care of their animals, the numbers also show that this is not the case for all owners. More than a million pets are left to roam the streets or end up in shelters in hopes of finding their forever home.

Source

  • Mars Petcare
  • PFMA
  • British Parliament
  • MAP
  • Cat Protection
  • statistics
  • Kennel Club
  • Scientific Report

Featured Image Credit: pmwtastro, Pixabay

15 Heartbreaking UK Animal Homelessness Statistics to Know in 2022
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