Shelter 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, made possible by the founding organizations (above) who provided the funding to bring this vision forward.