• Susan Houser

News of the Week 04-26-15

Several public shelters reported progress on live releases this week. The Southern Pines Animal Shelter in Mississippi takes in almost 5000 animals per year and provides animal sheltering for a county of 75,000 people as well as for surrounding counties. They had a live release rate of over 75% for 2014, but in the last 5 months they have been over 90% each month. Shelter manager Ginny Sims attributes the improvement to new programs, fosters, volunteers, and new partnerships.


Sacramento’s city shelter, the Front Street Animal Shelter, has made great strides since director Gina Knepp took over in 2011. Now comes word that the Sacramento County shelter has also improved by using adoption specials. Director David Dickenson says the live release rate at the county shelter so far this year is 75%.


The Los Angeles Animal Shelter reports a 73% save rate currently, with 85% for dogs and 57% for cats. Best Friends, through its No Kill Los Angeles initiative, is trying to reduce the kill rate for cats with a neonatal kitten program and support for TNR and return-to-field.


The City of Calistoga, California, has decided to grant a contract to the Petaluma Animal Services Foundation (PASF) for animal control and sheltering. This article about the process describes how a social media campaign helped to persuade city officials to select PASF over a rival bidder based on PASF’s history of higher live release rates, even though the PASF bid will cost the city slightly more.

In transport news, shelter dogs are being flown as carry-on passengers on commercial flights from the Big Island of Hawaii to the Portland, Oregon, area. About 60 dogs have been placed through this program so far.


Brent Toellner has two blog posts on length of stay – the importance of managing it, and how to decrease it. And Peter Wolf’s Vox Felina blog is celebrating its five-year anniversary.


The fourth in the Maddie’s Fund series of free webcasts on the five initiatives of the Million Cat Challenge is set for Tuesday, April 28, at 9 PM EST. The presenters are Ollie Davidson, program director at the Tree House Animal Shelter in Chicago, and Kathleen Olson, director of a Washington state shelter with intake of over 12,000 animals per year. Both shelters improved the shelter environment and saved more animals after instituting capacity for care programs. Register here.


New York City Comptroller Scott Stringer is criticizing NYC Animal Care & Control. The AC&C has a five-year contract with the city.


The Humane Society of Silicon Valley won the Shorty Award in the Best Social Good category for its “Eddie the Terrible” marketing campaign.


PetSmart Charities has an interactive page showing its impact by state.


The Center for Shelter Dogs has many webinars covering a variety of topics.


The Humane Society of Utah has a cat room with remote-controlled toys that people can operate online through the iPet Companion website. In addition to amusing the cats, the shelter hopes that the promotion will call attention to available cats and help change the perception of the shelter as a sad place.

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