• Susan Houser

News of the Week 03-22-15

There is a lot of news this week, so let’s get to it:


Miami-Dade County Animal Services has announced that it achieved an 81.5% live release rate for dogs and cats in 2014! The shelter had an intake of 27,000 animals. A $4 million budget increase has allowed the shelter to implement a raft of new programs that are having an effect. In other news from Miami, the shelter is now using the Finding Rover face recognition app for lost dogs.


Hillsborough County Pet Resources Center, the open admission shelter for Hillsborough County, Florida, is running at an 85% live release rate so far for its 2014-2015 fiscal year (counting animals who died or were lost in shelter care with euthanasias). This covers the 5 colder months, so we can’t guess what the rate for the entire year will be, but things are looking good. Two years ago the live release rate for Hillsborough County, which has a population of 2 million and includes the city of Tampa, was only 46%. When current director Scott Trebatoski started a year ago, he made a lot of changes to adoption procedures, all designed to make the process as smooth and attractive to adopters as possible. He has also repaired relationships with local rescues. Tampa has proven to be a very tough venue for No Kill in the past, so it is encouraging to see this progress.


The Clermont To The Rescue Humane Society just started running the Clermont County Animal Shelter in Ohio on January 1st this year. Clermont County has about 200,000 people and is part of the Cincinnati metro area. Manager Eva Devaughn reports that in the first two months under new operation, the shelter has euthanized only 7 cats and dogs, all based on a veterinarian’s recommendation.


West Virginia has certainly not been known as a promising venue for No Kill, so every ray of hope in that state is important. The Huntington-Cabell-Wayne Animal Shelter is reporting that it has saved 85% of its dogs this year and has just started a TNR program for feral and community cats.


In more West Virginia news, the Mercer County Animal Shelter reports that it has not killed any animals for space in the last 2 months. The shelter is transporting at-risk pets out of the area. Actually, a group of volunteers is doing transports for the shelter, including networking to find receiving rescues and, twice a month, driving 12 to 20 hours round trip. In 2014 the volunteers saved over 1300 animals. Mercer County’s population is 62,000 and its median household income is $26,600, about half the national average. One in five people in the county live in poverty.


In more transport news, PetSmart Rescue Waggin’ is helping the Vincennes Animal Shelter in Indiana. PetSmart has picked up animals for transport four times since the arrangement was made in January, and the shelter now has empty cages. Vincennes is a small town in the southwestern part of the state. The town’s population has been declining, and it has no significant population centers near enough to be an easy drive for potential adopters.


North Shore Animal League’s Tour for Life rolling adoption event to assist shelters across the United States is celebrating its 15th year.


The Brown County, Indiana, shelter is reporting a 98% live release rate for 2014, which is a repeat of its great performance in 2013.


A flashback: Seattle’s mayor noted in a recent proclamation honoring the city’s spay-neuter clinic that the Seattle shelter took in 18,401 animals in 1982 and killed 45% of them. Last year, intake was 3,344, and Seattle euthanized only 7% of them.


The HSUS Expo is almost here – starting March 30th in New Orleans. In recent years the Expo has become an important event for No Kill leaders, and a lot of them will be there. The only conference that seems to draw more No Kill leaders is the Best Friends National Conference, which will be held this year in Atlanta, Georgia, July 16-19.


Austin, Texas, is facing possible changes in the rules that govern shelter vets.


The city of Waco, which has been running at a live release rate of over 90% in 2015, is entering the home stretch in its effort to raise $2.5 million for a new shelter. The campaign has raised $2.3 million so far.


ACCT Philly took in about 28,000 animals in 2014 and had a 74% live release rate. Adoptions and fosters both showed increases. A 74% live release rate is nothing to cheer about, but Philadelphia has been a very hard case for No Kill for a very long time, and it’s nice to see things at least moving in the right direction.

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