menu close open event RSVP required ticketed event
Toggle Search

Lifesaving Statistics

Animal Intakes and Outcomes

There are about 13,000 adoptions every year at the Wisconsin Humane Society. It’s remarkable that nearly 30 animals leave our shelters each day to go to their loving homes. Strong community support makes that possible. 

We’ve come a long way since 1971, the year the Wisconsin Humane Society – and the rest of the country – experienced the peak of pet overpopulation. In that year, a staggering 48,608 animals came into the shelter and 33,679 of them were euthanized, a 31% save rate.  

In 1999, when we opened the Milwaukee Campus on Wisconsin Avenue, an open admission shelter, we made a promise never to euthanize animals for reasons of space or time, and we’ve upheld that commitment ever since. We’ve also brought the approaches that make that possible to Green Bay, Door, Ozaukee, Racine, and Kenosha Counties, ensuring better futures for animals. 

Our community still faces significant economic hardship and we continue to pioneer ways to save more of the animals coming through our doors. Much of our intake comes from people who are surrendering their animals because they have nowhere else to go. For a variety of reasons, they can no longer care for their animals and have often exhausted their own placement resources – family, friends, online listings, etc. Their animals often have medical or behavioral issues (more than half our animals need extra medical or behavioral support), making it harder for their original owners to find willing adopters. So they bring them to us.   

In addition to taking animals whose owners can no longer care for them, we provide animal control services for Racine, Brown, Door, Kenosha, and Ozaukee Counties.  We house animals seized by law enforcement, provide a safe place for survivors of cruelty and neglect, and quarantine animals after they’ve attacked or bitten.  We are also the largest partner to the Milwaukee Area Domestic Animal Control Commission (MADACC). We receive animals from other Wisconsin shelters and out-of-state shelters, too. The vast majority of our intake is local. 

To all these animals, we offer clean kennels, warm beds, loving hearts and medical attention.  We are proud to be entrusted with the care of so many wonderful animals every year and we deeply value the compassion and respect our staff upholds in every animal interaction. Sadly, not all of these animals can be saved.  We rehabilitate the animals we can, but we will not place a dangerous animal back into the community, nor will we allow an animal to suffer unnecessarily from medical issues we cannot treat.  

How can the public help?

Can you foster a litter of kittens in the summer? Can you sponsor a spay/neuter surgery, thus preventing generations of unwanted cats? Would you be willing to donate food for a family who loves their dog, but can’t afford to feed her?  We need community support to continue to decrease pet overpopulation, and we need funding to provide resources to the growing number of animals who are in need of medical and behavioral support. Click here to foster. Click here to donate. Click here for our wish list. 

What do these numbers mean?

Euthanasia statistics are represented in three categories: healthy, treatable/manageable, and unhealthy/untreatable. Definitions of these nationally-recognized categories are available at These clear definitions allow our community to understand the euthanasia statistics without the confusion of unclear or unethical reporting.  

Click here for 2022 statistics.
Click here for 2021 statistics.
Click here for 2020 statistics.
Click here for 2019 statistics. 
Click here for 2018 statistics.