I have found my department's work statistics to be more useful in determining the changes in the pet population and in the success of our programs. The shelters are mirrors of our society, they tell us what dog breeds are popular and what health conditions prevail for pets in our cities. We can gauge the success of our programs by looking at the numbers and types of dogs and cats impounded, the number of animal bites, cruelty cases and stray dogs.
Rush, Robert I., "City of Los Angeles: Animal Care and Control" (1985). Management and Control of Companion Animal Populations. 7.