WaterShed Animal Fund invests in innovative programs with exemplary institutions and individuals to better the lives of companion animals. We strive to create and support programs that provide life-saving solutions.

Approximately 7.3 million dogs and cats enter animal shelters each year. Over 2.6 million dogs and cats are euthanized in shelters each year.

The WaterShed Animal Fund is a private, separate entity within the Arnall Family Foundation. The Fund has an independent staff and strategic plan. The fund supports organizations with shared interests demonstrating competency, transparency and problem solving.

Animal Shelter Statistics

Animal Welfare Statistics Pie Chart

What Happens to Animals Entering Shelters

9.2 Million Horses in the US

There are an estimated 9.2 million horses in the U.S.

1,000 Equine Rescues and Sanctuaries in the US

There are about 1,000 U.S. nonprofit equine rescues and sanctuaries with an average capacity of 20-30 horses.

1.5 Percent US Households Own a Horse

Approximately 1.5% of U.S. households own a horse.

Each year 150,000 – 300,000 U.S. horses are no longer wanted or become at-risk.

The majority of nonprofit facilities are operating at or near capacity leaving them unable to accept more horses into their programs.

Irresponsible breeding has impacted the supply and demand dynamic and has resulted in an abundance of unwanted or unsound horses — adding to the at-risk population.

The cost of humane euthanasia and disposal ($300-$500) has been a barrier for many owners — leading to the abandonment, neglect and sale to auction for many horses. Access to affordable options is a necessity in order to reduce the number of horses at-risk.

Cruelty Issues


puppies sold from puppy mills.

10,000 +

puppy mills in the U.S.


puppies sold from puppy mills have parasites or an illness.

The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) is responsible for regulating commercial dog breeding facilities to meet minimum standards.

Graph Showing 50 Pecent

of puppies sold are bred at USDA licensed facilities.

Graph Showing 29 Pecent

of puppy mills are regulated by the USDA.

Graph Showing 99 Pecent

of puppies sold in pet stores originate from puppy mill operations.

There are about 1 million dogs confined in puppy mills through the country. The females are bred twice a year and are typically euthanized at around 5 years of age when they are no longer useful to the operation.

A puppy seizure bust with 250 animals costs approximately $500,000 to the agency performing the rescue operation.

In 2007, the last horse slaughter plant in the United States closed, yet approximately 150,000 horses annually are transported to slaughterhouses in Mexico and Canada leading to injury and inhumane treatment.

Ninety percent of horses going to slaughter are in good condition and have the ability to go on to a useful and productive life.

Horse slaughter plants process and sell meat overseas for consumption creating a potential health hazard to consumers due to the veterinary drugs used during the horses lifetime.

Transport Horses to slaughterhouse in Mexico and Canada
90 Percent of Horses going to Slaughter are in Good Condition
Horse slaughter plants process and sell meat overseas

Spay/Neuter Statistics

Graph Showing 10 Pecent

of the animals received by shelters have been spayed or neutered.

Graph Showing 83 Pecent

of pet dogs are spayed or neutered.

Graph Showing 91 Pecent

of pet cats are spayed or neutered.

Average Litter for a Cat
Average Litter of a Dog

The average number of litters a fertile cat produces is one to two a year; the average number of kittens is four to six per litter.

The average number of litters a fertile dog produces is one a year; the average number of puppies is four to six.


pets living in underserved communities in the United States.


pets living in underserved communities are not spayed or neutered.


pets living in underserved communities have never seen a veterinarian.

Benefits of Spay and Neuter Programs

It helps to reduce companion animal homeles population.

Sterilization will increase an animal’s chance of a longer and healthier life. Sterilizing a canine will increase its life an average of 1 to 3 years, felines 3 to 5 years. Sterilized animals have a very low to no risk of mammary gland tumors/cancer, prostate cancer, perianal tumors, pyometria, uterine, ovarian and testicular cancers.

Sterilizing will make an animal a better pet, reducing his/her urge to roam and decreasing the risk of contracting diseases or getting hurt as they roam. Surveys indicate that as many as 85% of dogs hit by cars are unaltered. Intact male cats living outside have been shown to live on average less than two years. Feline Immunodeficiency Syndrome is spread by bites and intact cats fight a great deal more than altered cats.

The community will also benefit from sterilizing animals. Homeless animals are becoming a very real concern in many places. Stray animals can easily become a public nuisance and will continue the cycle of overpopulation.

The capture, impoundment and eventual destruction of homeless animals costs taxpayers and private humanitarian agencies over a billion dollars each year.