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  • Writer's pictureSusan Houser

Aquidneck Island, RI

Newport County in Rhode Island (population 83,000) lies along Narragansett Bay, and there are several islands in the bay that are part of Newport County. The largest of the islands is Aquidneck. There are three small cities on Aquidneck Island — the city of Newport (population 25,000), Middletown (16,000), and Portsmouth (17,000) (Portmouth’s territory includes several of the smaller islands along with part of Aquidneck).

The Potter League is a non-profit animal shelter located in Middletown that has contracts for stray intake and sheltering for Middletown, Portsmouth, and the city of Newport. It also accepts owner surrenders from all residents of Newport County without any conditions, although it asks owners to fill out a personality profile on surrendered animals. The League offers a wide range of services and programs.

The League publishes its statistics in annual reports. According to the report for fiscal year 2011-2012, the League had a total intake of 1732 animals during the year, with a live release rate of 91% (89% if owner-requested euthanasias are included with euthanasias). The League transferred in 331 animals from “overcrowded shelters in Pennsylvania, North Carolina, South Carolina, Texas and the Virgin Islands.”

The report is interesting in that it shows that the money the League receives for its sheltering service is a small fraction of its total intake. One advantage that a non-profit has over a tax-funded city shelter is that non-profits can and do raise money directly from the public, often very successfully.



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