• Susan Houser

Worth Watching – Linn County, IA


[NOTE: The Worth Watching category lists communities whose animal shelter systems are doing substantially better than average, but have not reported a sustained (for one year or more) 90%+ live release rate. These communities are not counted in the running total in the blog’s subtitle. For more about the Worth Watching category, see the Worth Watching page link in the blog’s header.]

Linn County, located in east central Iowa, has a population of over 210,000 people. Its county seat, Cedar Rapids, has 126,000 people.

The Cedar Valley Humane Society (CVHS), which is headquartered in Cedar Rapids, decribes itself as follows: “The Cedar Valley Humane Society is a private nonprofit animal shelter. We are responsible for animal control services in unincorporated Linn County and its municipalities, with the exception of Cedar Rapids, Marion, and Center Point. We also provide animal control services for North Liberty, Swisher, Tiffin, Shueyville, Oxford, and Solon. The Cedar Valley Humane Society is funded solely by donations, adoptions, and the services we provide.”

CVHS has a small fee for owner surrenders, but states “we accept all animals regardless of health or temperament, and we will never turn away an animal in need.” CVHS is not to be confused with Cedar Rapids Animal Care and Control (CRACC) which provides animal control and sheltering for Cedar Rapids and animal sheltering for the city of Marion. CRACC accepts owner surrenders on a space-available basis.

Chuck Tourtillott took over as executive director of CVHS on September 1, 2012. In a recent e-mail, Tourtillott told me that the shelter has been running at an 82-87% live release rate since he took over. CVHS has an intake of nearly 2000 animals per year.

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