An unspayed female dog, her mate and all of their puppies and their puppies’ puppies, if none are ever neutered or spayed, add up to…




1 Year: 16

2 Years: 128

3 Years: 512

4 Years: 2,048

5 Years: 12,268

6 Years: 67,000


  • Average number of litters a fertile dog can produce in one year: 2
  • Average number of puppies in a canine litter: 6–10
  • One female dog and her offspring can theoretically produce 67,000 dogs in 6 years
  • Average cost of spaying or neutering a dog is less than the cost of raising a litter of puppies.
  • On average it costs U.S. taxpayers approximately $100 to capture, house, feed, and eventually euthanize every homeless animal
  • Prevention is cheaper and more humane – the average cost to spay or neuter is only $80 per animal

Pet overpopulation is a big problem. The Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) says that about 2.7 million healthy, adoptable cats and dogs die in animal shelters every year. That’s one every 11 seconds! Spaying and neutering prevents unwanted litters from adding to the pet overpopulation. Just look at these numbers: Pet overpopulation facts are simple. There are just too many pets and not enough homes. Consider these statistics as to how just one litter can result in hundreds to thousands of unwanted pets:

The Prolific Dog
1st year 4 offspring with 2 females
2nd year 12 offspring
3rd year 36 offspring
5th year 324 offspring
7th year 4,372 offspring

For the last decade, over 4 million dogs and cats were euthanized in the U.S. every year. This number is less than what it was 20 years ago, due to the increasing availability of spay and neuter programs, including those that provide reduced cost procedures.

Over half of dogs euthanized every year are pit bull type dogs. A third of the total pit bull type dog population enters shelters every year, 80% of which are relinquished by their owners. This is the only breed of dog whose number of shelter admissions continues to rise over the last decade.

Facts about Pet Overpopulation in the U.S.:

The average number of litters a fertile dog produces is one a year; the average number of puppies is four to six.

Owned dogs generally live longer, healthier lives than strays.

Many strays are lost pets who were not kept properly indoors or provided with identification.

Only 10%of the animals received by shelters have been spayed or neutered, while 83% of pet dogs are spayed or neutered.

The cost of spaying or neutering a dog is less than the cost of raising puppies for a year.