30+ Pet Adoption Statistics In 2024 (+ Our Findings)

Pet and owner

The familial bond shared between humans and their pets is undeniable. Especially since the pandemic, more pet owners have turned to furry companions for companionship, comfort, and joy.

As pet lovers, our market research company decided to survey 1,000 respondents about pet adoption and ownership plus their preferences, spending habits, and more. 

Top Pet Adoption & Ownership Statistics & Findings [Editor’s Choice]

  • 44% of people prefer to adopt a pet from a shelter/rescue organization
  • 88% reported to save animals as their primary reason for adopting
  • On average, males are more likely to spend more on their pets than females
  • 96% agree that they consider their pets family members
  • 70% agree they like their pets over other family members

How People Prefer to Adopt Their Pets

Becoming a pet owner is a big responsibility and it can also be important to choose your pet wisely.

However, as adults it's also important to be aware that only about half of the animals that go into shelters get adopted out (American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals).

That’s not to mention the ones that end up back at the shelter again. That’s why we wanted to see how people prefer to get their pets and see if it lines up with the current pet environment in the U.S.

Here’s what we found:

  • 44% said they preferred to adopt from a shelter or a rescue organization
  • 21% said they prefer to buy from a pet store
  • 17% said they prefer to buy from a breeder
  • 17% said they did not want to own a pet
  • 2% said a mix of adopting from a friend/neighbor/family and also adopting animals off the street

Why Respondents Wanted To Adopt Their Pets

When we think about how shelter spaces are limited and over 1.5 million shelter animals are euthanized yearly in the U.S. it’s heartbreaking (ASPCA). We wanted to know why our respondents were adopting to get a bigger picture.

Here’s what pet owners and adopters said:

  • 88% said it was to save animals
  • 53% said it was to reduce pet overpopulation
  • 38% said they didn’t want to support mass breeding facilities
  • 37% said it was less expensive (on average, it is)
  • 21% said it was for access to mixed-breeds
  • 16% said they prefer already-trained pets
  • 14% said they prefer older pets
  • The remaining 1% said a combination of saving them and not supporting breeders

We Are Family (Pets Included)

With 14% of dogs being surrendered from homing issues and 7% being surrendered from financial reasons, we wanted to know how many thought of their animals as family (Best Friends). We asked survey respondents to agree with the following statement:

I consider my pet(s) to be a family member

  • 96% said they strongly agree or somewhat agree
  • 2% said they neither agree nor disagree
  • 2% said strongly disagree or somewhat disagree

How Much They Spent On Their Pets (Family Members)

The number of people who see their pets as family is higher than ever it seems. That’s why we wanted to see on average how much people spent on their pets. We asked:

In the past 3 months, how much have you spent on your pets (including all expenses)

  • 7% said less than $50
  • 17% said $50 to $99
  • 29% said $100 to $249
  • 22% said $250 to $499
  • 15% said $500 to $999
  • 5% said $1000 or more
  • 5% said they don’t own a pet

Most People Liked Their Pets More Than Other Family Members

And they said yes! Well, some did. We wanted to know just HOW much people thought of their animals as family and a good way to measure that was to see if they liked their pets more than some of their family members.

We asked them to rate your level of agreement with the following statements:

I like my pet more than I like certain family members

  • 70% said they strongly agree (maybe you’ve felt this way too)
  • 16% said they neither agree nor disagree
  • 14% said they strongly disagree

Those are our findings. For more information please read up on our collected articles from which we pulled valuable statistics. Reading them can also make our findings much more relevant and important.

Contact Our Market Research Company

Drive Research is a full-service market research company based in New York. Well-versed in both local and national market research efforts, our team navigates a wide range of industries with ease. Our services range from quantitative to qualitative methodologies such as customer surveysemployee surveysPR surveys, and focus groups.

Want to know more about all of our market research services? Get in touch with us through any of the ways listed below.

  1. Message us on our website
  2. Email us at [email protected]
  3. Call us at 888-725-DATA
  4. Text us at 315-303-2040

austin author bio

Austin Parker

Austin has an extensive background in SEO as he's been blogging since 16 years old back when the internet was in its infancy. As fitting, he holds a Bachelor's degree in English with a concentration in creative writing.

Learn more about Austin, here.

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