Data Saves Lives

Every animal counts. Every life deserves love. At the Petco Foundation, we are All for Saving Lives, but we can’t save what we don’t know exists. To save a life, we need to know where the lives are that need help.


Existing Data


A number of national organizations, like the ASPCA and Best Friends Animal Society, have worked hard to estimate the number of animals entering shelters.

Shelter Animals Count is a collaborative initiative formed by a diverse group of stakeholders to create and share a national database of sheltered animal statistics reported voluntarily to help save lives.

We are thankful for all the work in this area.

We believe now is the time for all states to adopt standard, annual reporting of animal statistics to support a national database. Consistency among states will allow organizations to allocate resources more efficiently and together, solve a problem that doesn’t end at a state’s border.

Some states already require basic shelter data reporting (examples include Michigan, Colorado, Maine, and North Carolina) but the type of information required varies.

The path to creating a Lifesaving Nation requires consistent, simple annual reporting by all organizations of basic animal data so the public knows where the animals are that need help.

When we have the data, together, we can create a Lifesaving Nation.

Let’s do this…. All for Love

Virginia as an example

Since 2004, all animal welfare organizations in the Commonwealth of Virginia have annually reported their animal data to the Department of Agriculture, Office of State Veterinarian. Virginia's ten plus years of data not only shows the incredible progress the state has made in saving lives, but it creates the road map for the future of saving animal lives.

Virginia's Progress

Each tab illustrates a different view of Virginia’s animal data and provides the ability to analyze data in various formats to assess progress.

Summary presents the consolidated data table of information reported by to the Virginia Department of Agriculture annually. YOY (year over year) Trend shows total animals by category coming into and going out of a single or multiple organization each year. Customized Trend enables trend analysis to assess organizational effectiveness on many levels and comparisons versus others. Map illustrates how the lifesaving landscape of Virginia has progressed over time.


Data Saves Lives

Together, we’re creating a new future for animals and the people who love them.