Fewer dogs, cats are part of the American Family

Dogs still top pet

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DETROIT - America's pet population is shrinking.

There were 2 million fewer dogs and 7.6 million fewer cats in U.S. homes last year when compared to 2006, according to the American Veterinary Medical Association.

Dogs are still tops among pets, about 70 million of them in 36.5% of U.S. homes.  74 million cats are in 30.4% of homes.

It's the first decline in dog or cat households since 1991, according to AVMA.

The number of pets of all kinds had been rising steadily since at least 1986, when AVMA began doing its twice-a-decade count. But from 2006 to 2011 it declined.

The numbers are from the 2012 U.S. Pet Ownership and Demographics Sourcebook. It is based on a survey of 50,000 households conducted every five years by the AVMA.

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