Guide to the Census Survey: Florida Shelter Animal Census

Instructions for Completing the Shelter Survey and Stats Matrix

Shelter census screen capture

Example of the survey’s stats matrix form

Participants can submit their informational survey and shelter data for 2013 in just a few simple steps. We understand that shelter managers and staff have busy schedules, so the process for entering data has been optimized to be easy and user-friendly.

The purpose of the shelter census is to create an accurate database of how cats and dogs move through the shelter system in Florida each year.  With this goal in mind, we have focused on a few key categories that shelters will be asked to report. This will ensure an accurate and comprehensive survey.

The survey is designed to include statistics from CALENDAR YEAR 2013 — January 1, 2013 through December 31, 2013. Using this as a common baseline for shelters avoids the potential for inconsistency among other date ranges (such as fiscal year, etc.).

The data entry categories for the survey consist of:

  • Beginning Animal Count
  • Live Intake
  • Live Outcomes
  • Other Outcomes
  • Ending Animal Count

Shelter statistics will be collected and organized by species (Calculating by age IS NOT NECESSARY.)

Part I – Informational Survey

Before submitting their shelter statistics, participants in the census will be asked to answer a few simple questions about their facility. These questions include:

  • Service area
  • Type of shelter
  • Total agency budget for FY 2013
  • Number of service calls

Part II – Guide to the Matrix

We have tried to make submitting your shelter’s statistics for 2013 as quick and simple as possible. The categories are based on the Data Matrix form of the National Federation of Humane Societies.

Use the following step-by-step guide to become familiar with the categories used in the Florida Animal Shelter Census. All of this information should be easily obtained through shelter reporting software or other records. If you have questions, please contact us; we will be happy to help!


Beginning Animal Count

  • Animal Count on 01/01/2013 – Should include animals in shelter and animals admitted but currently in foster care or other offsite facility.


Live Intake

This includes strays and at-large intakes; relinquished by owner; owner intended euthanasia; animals transferred to other agencies; other live intakes

  • Stray/At Large – Admitted through animal control/stated to be unowned or freeroaming
  • Relinquished by Owner – Admitted by owner
  • Owner Intended Euthanasia – Limited to this definition: Admission of pets whose owner brought the pet to the shelter with the INTENT of requesting euthanasia
  • Transferred from Agency – An admission from another agency – for adoption, large scale seizure support, etc.
  • Other Intakes – Impounds for cruelty & protective custody. Also, pets born while in care, and others types of admission not captured above.


Live Outcomes

Adoptions; animals returned to owner; animals transferred to another agency; other live outcomes

  • 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.
  • 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
  • Returned to Field (Feline) – Animals included in intake, altered and returned to stray capture locations as free-roaming felines.
  • Other Live Outcome – Barn cat programs, etc.

Step 4 of the Process

Other Outcomes

Includes animals that died or were lost in care of the shelter; shelter euthanasia; owner intended euthanasia

  • Died in Care – Animals who die while sheltered
  • 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 Intended Euthanasia.
  • Owner Intended Euthanasia – Limited to this definition: Euthanasia of pets whose owner brought the pet to the shelter with the INTENT of utilizing euthanasia services

Step 5 of the Process

Ending Animal Count

Ending Animal Count: 12/31/2013 – Should include animals in shelter and animals belonging to the shelter but in foster.

Ready to Get Started?


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