About the Data


About the Data

Whether organizations gather a great deal of data or have only gathered the basics, our data points facilitate the merging of data at the local, regional, or national level by providing a common framework for data tracking.


Intake & Outcome Database


Community Services Database

For shelters and rescues that manage intakes.

Data for services provided to community-owned animals


SAC Data Collection

  • Shelters & Rescues
  • Intake/Outcome Data
  • Community Services Data
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Intake & Outcome Database

The Intake & Outcome Database was designed to serve as a tool for basic data collection. It is a simple database containing what many (including Asilomar, ASPCA, National Federation of Humane Societies, American Humane, UC Davis, Maddie’s Fund, PetSmart Charities, HSUS, and Shelter Animals Count) have agreed are the minimum data points (along with definitions) an organization should gather.

This database gathers data for multiple species, live intakes, live outcomes, other/non-live outcomes, and animal counts.

Community Services Database

Shelter Animals Count began collecting community services data in 2021 to capture the most common ways organizations are supporting pets and people in our communities. Services are collected in four categories, Support Services, Field Services, Veterinary Services, and Behavior Services.

This is the first database to allow both animal sheltering and non-sheltering organizations, as well as human services organizations, to count animal services in a central database.



Participating Organizations




History of Shelter Data

Shelter data has come a long way in the 21st century. In 2004, 20 leaders, representing national organizations and funders in the industry, gathered to find common ground in an otherwise divided animal welfare field. The result was the Asilomar Accords, a first in the industry: common definitions and a standard way of reporting shelter statistics.

Since then, many of those same organizations and others put their heads together and created the Basic Data Matrix, which serves as a basis for the minimum data shelters should be collecting and reporting.

In 2011, the national organizations began a discussion around how to compile a complete picture of the animals entering and leaving shelters in the United States. The result was the formation of Shelter Animals Count and The National Database, made possible by the founding organizations who provided the funding to bring this vision forward.

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