In 2004, 20 leaders, representing national organizations and funders in the industry, gathered to find common ground in an otherwise divided animal welfare field in Pacific Grove, California. 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, made possible by the founding organizations (above) who provided the funding to bring this vision forward.