From ANIMAL PEOPLE, July/August 1995:
The numbers of dogs and cats killed in U.S. animal
shelters appears to have resumed a 35-year decline after a brief
spike upward, according to the 12th annual ANIMAL PEO-
P L E review of shelter exit data. The overall rate of shelter
killing per 1,000 Americans now stands at 15.5.
Shelter killing is coming down in all parts of the U.S.,
but progress remains most apparent where low-cost and early-
age dog and cat sterilization programs started first, decades
ago, followed by aggressive neuter/return feral cat sterilization,
introduced on a large scale during the early 1990s.
Regions with harsh winters that inhibit the survival of
stray and feral kittens were usually killing more than 100 dogs
and cats per 1,000 humans circa 1970. The U.S. average was
115, and the Southern toll (where known) soared above 250.
Current regional norms vary from 3.6 in the
Northeast to 27.5 along the Gulf Coast and 29.2 in Appalachia.
The Northeast toll is as low as it is partly because
most animal control agencies in Connecticut still do not active-
ly pick up cats, although they were authorized to do so in
1991––but even if Connecticut agencies collected two or three
times as many cats as dogs, the overall Northeast rate of shelter
killing would be less than 4.5 dogs and cats per 1,000 humans.