Frequently Asked Questions: Florida Shelter Animal Census

Why are you collecting Florida shelter statistics?

The purpose of this study is to:

  • Determine the intakes and outcomes of shelter animals at all Florida shelters for the 2013 calendar year
  • Provide a baseline for future comparisons of animals in Florida shelters
  • Determine trends in intake and outcome data according to factors like county, human population size, budget, etc.

Will I be able to see the results of the study?

  • Yes, the combined results will be reported on the University of Florida webpage. All participants will be able to compare the results from their shelter to averages from the compiled data.

What kinds of statistics are you collecting?

  • Intake and disposition data for 2013 from all shelters in Florida using a matrix derived from the National Federation of Humane Societies Basic Animal Stats Matrix.
  • Service area
  • Type of shelter
  • Total agency budget for FY 2013
  • Number of service calls

Why did you select the National Federation of Humane Societies format?

  • This format provides a “common language” for shelters to use
  • This format collects only the most basic and objective data, limiting the problem of subjectivity and time-consuming data reporting.
  • This format should provide the easiest and most reliable way to compare shelter statistics across regions of the state.

Does my organization qualify to participate?

  • If your organization intakes dogs or cats and has a facility that continuously houses animals overnight – YES.
  • If your organization does not take in dogs or cats or is a foster-based program with no facility that houses animals overnight – NO.

What if we include transfers to other organizations in our adoption numbers?

  • Please make a notation when submitting your data as such. If you are unable to separate transfers from adoptions, please email and we would be more than willing to help.

What if we don’t keep computerized records?

When should I submit my data?

  • As soon as possible!

I am having trouble using the data collection form – what can I do?

  • Please email for some further guidance. We can complete the form for you with just a little information from you.

I don’t have time to calculate my shelter’s data. Can I submit my data in another format, such as Asilomar Accords, or a Chameleon Kennel Statistics report?

  • Yes! We can use these formats to fill out the basic animal stats matrix for your facility.

What if our fiscal year does not coincide with the calendar year for 2013?

  • No problem! Please submit what you have, including what the dates of the fiscal year are. While we need to collect shelter animal data for January 1-December 31, 2013 to be able to describe a shelter animal census for the year, we understand that fiscal year dates are quite variable. The calendar year and the fiscal year do not need to match exactly.

What are you going to do with these statistics?

  • These statistics will be used to provide a snapshot of statewide intakes and dispositions of shelter dogs and cats. We also hope to determine any trends associated with region, human population, budget, etc.

Speaking a common language . . .

Just to be sure we are all describing animals the same way, we will be using the following definitions in our data categories:

  • Beginning Animal Count – Should include animals in shelter and animals admitted but currently in foster care or offsite facility.
  • Stray/At Large – Admitted through animal control/stated to be unowned or freeroaming.
  • Relinquished by Owner – Admitted by owner.
  • Owner Requested Euthanasia – Defined as the euthanasia of a pet whose owner brought the pet to the shelter for that service. In other words, the owner brought the pet in specifically for that service – it was their intent before arriving.
  • Transferred in from Agency – an admission from another agency – for adoption, large scale seizure support, etc.
  • Other Intakes – Impounds for cruelty cases and protective custody. Also, pets born while in care, and other types of admission not captured above.
  • Adoption – Final adoptions only, having permanently left the agency’s possession. For example, it does not include animals placed in foster care or on overnight ‘trial’ stays. It also does not include transfers to other agencies.
  • Returned to Owner – Stray or Owner Relinquished animal returned to their owner.
  • Transferred to another Agency – Transferred out of the Agency’s possession to another entity.
  • Other Live Outcome – Returning cats to the field, barn cat programs, etc.
  • Died in Care – Animals who die while sheltering.
  • Lost in Care – Animals whose outcome is unknown (may have escaped the shelter, outcome was not recorded and unknown).
  • Shelter Euthanasia – All euthanasia other than that performed by the definition below as Owner Requested Euthanasia.
  • Owner Requested Euthanasia – Limited to this definition: Euthanasia of pets whose owner brought the pet to the shelter with the INTENT of requesting euthanasia.
  • Ending Shelter Count – Should include animals in shelter and animals admitted but currently in foster care or offsite facility.