And the answer: millennials.
The pet ownership industry is one that millennials have not eliminated. On the contrary, in the U.S., millennials make up a third of all pet owners—the lion’s share of any generation. In cities across China, half of all dogs and cats adopted were by people born in the ‘90s. Around 35% of millennials in the U.K. say they own a pet, or are planning to adopt an additional pet in the near future.
From the many health benefits to the lifelong bond of pet ownership, owning a furry companion is the preferred way of life of nearly 70% of households in the United States. Pet ownership has grown steadily over the years, now with 69 million U.S. households owning a dog and 45.3 million pet cats.
Yet, while more and more prospective pet owners look to take on a new companion, more and more animals find themselves displaced in shelters. According to reports, there are about 70 million stray animals in the United States, and up to eight million of those animals end up in shelters. The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA) reports that each year, only three million of these animals get adopted from the 3,500 animal shelters around the country.
Did you know?
This week, November 6-12, is Animal Shelter Appreciation Week! The Humane Society of the United States founded National Animal Shelter Appreciation Week in 1996 to acknowledge and appreciate the role of animal shelters in communities all over the country. The holiday encourages the public to educate themselves on the level of work involved in caring for animals and to volunteer to help at their local animal shelter. Even small donations to a shelter (most of which are nonprofits run by volunteers) can make a huge difference. Learn more about how to get involved here!
Learn more about pet ownership and shelter work here.