Though shelter statistics are not very reliable due to the fact that we do not know the real amount of shelters that exist in the US. We can approximate that there are about 3000 shelters throughout the US consisting of about 15% of the US cat and dog population. Dogs that enter shelter are generally younger than that of dogs in the general population. For example, a study in the Baltimore area, they found that dogs in shelters were overall 3 years younger than that in the normal population. Another study done in NY state animal shelter found that 40% of the dogs were puppies and 50% of the cats were kittens. Another characteristic is that the dogs tend to be larger in shelters than dogs in the general population. A study done in Los Vegas found that 52%of the dogs were x-large compared to 35% in the public population. Another characteristic that we find in shelter animals is the reason that they are there, and the number one reason is "behavior problems" and or euthanasia. The "risk" factors that I feel are related to whether or not an animal is turned into a shelter is its temper and behavioral attitudes. A study done in 1990 in Oregon found that an animal bought at a pet store is 4 times more likely to be given up to a shelter over on that is born within the family, mostly all due to behavioral problems. Another factor to whether an animal is turned over is how much you pay for the animal. For instance, we find a correlation between the commitment for keeping the animal and paying for it. Arkow and Dow find that free pets on average are kept for 17 wks, compared to people who pay 100$ or more that keep the pet on average 3 years. The findings that we have on animals once they are in the shelter is that 4% in NYC to 20% in Los Vegas return to their original homes; more often a dog will return home than a cat. Animals can also be adopted; the statistics for this are about 20% of dogs and 17% of cats.