How can data and insight help homeless pets?

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January 26, 2024

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How can data and insight help homeless pets? 

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VP Corporate Affairs & Sustainability, Mars Petcare

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At Mars we’re driven by our Petcare Purpose: A Better World for Pets. We know that pets bring huge benefits to our lives, and pets deserve loving homes and great care. But around the world, millions of cats and dogs remain in shelters or living on the streets. 

We have had programs, partnerships, and initiatives for many years to try and help homeless companion animals. In fact, we have supported around 10 million vulnerable pets over the last three years alone. 

But through a conversation with NGO partners on what more we could do to help; it became clear that there was currently no simple way to understand the scale of the problem or to uncover insights at a country level that could help find solutions to the root causes of pet homelessness.  Through these conversations what we heard was: yes, practical help is needed, but how can we work together to bring data and insight that can make a real difference and help direct our actions to the right areas? 

So, we set out to understand the scale of the problem as a crucial first step. Partnering with leading animal welfare experts and organizations, alongside our own experts in data and analytics and consumer insights, we worked with the help of Kantar and Euromonitor International to develop the State of Pet Homelessness Project. 

Through more than 7,700 hours of data work, almost 30,000 public surveys, analyst and expert interviews, and desk research, we compiled a fascinating and detailed picture of pet homelessness. Of course, it’s a hugely complex topic, and the scale and issues that impact pet homelessness differ from country to country, but we hope that by pulling together the best data out there and providing it open-source for anyone who is working in the field we can make a meaningful – and measurable – impact for millions of pets.  

We’re excited to share the work. But this is the start of the journey, and hopefully, it will help make a big difference to cats and dogs around the world over the coming years. 


Follow Helen Mills on Linkedin.

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Helen Mills, VP Corporate Affairs & Sustainability at Mars Petcare, shares how data-driven insights can help unlock targeted solutions to address the root causes of pet homelessness. Read more here.



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Pet population

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Number of stray/street pets (cats and dogs)

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Euromonitor calculations; Rabies One Data; Bangkok Metropolitan Administration; Department of Livestock's Development