Gathering Shelter Data

Shelter Animals Count | The National Database Project | Proud ParticipantShelter data has come a long way in the 21st century. In 2004, 20 leaders, representing national organizations and funders in the industry, gathered to find common ground in an otherwise divided animal welfare field. The result was the Asilomar Accords, a first in the industry: common definitions and a standard way of reporting shelter statistics. 

Since then, many of those same organizations and others put their heads together and created the Basic Data Matrix, which serves as a basis for the minimum data shelters should be collecting and reporting. 

In 2011, the national organizations began a discussion around how to compile a complete picture of the animals entering and leaving shelters in the United States. The result was the formation of Shelter Animals Count: The National Database Project, with shelter enrollment beginning in late 2015.  Shelter Animals Count is collecting data using the Basic Data Matrix. We encourage you to visit Shelter Animals Count and sign up to participate!

Maddie's Fund collects shelter data in our expanded version of the Asilomar Accords animal statistics table, and is in the process of receiving data in the Basic Data Matrix format as well.

Thanks to the work of the Asilomar Accords, many communities have developed a Pet Evaluation Matrix - classifying medical and behavioral conditions into the health status used by the Asilomar Accords reporting form. Click here to learn everything you need to know about developing and implementing a Pet Evaluation Matrix for your organization or community, and to see examples from other communities.