• Susan Houser

Worth Watching — Spokane County, WA

[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.]

Spokane County is located on the western border of the state of Washington. It has a population of 471,000 people, including the 209,000 people who live in the city of Spokane, which is the county seat.

The Spokane County Regional Animal Protection Service (SCRAPS) provides animal control and sheltering services for the county. It is expanding its jurisdiction as of January 2014, when it will start serving the city of Spokane as well as Millwood, Liberty Lake, and Cheney. SCRAPS accepts owner surrenders from its jurisdictions with no stated restrictions except a small fee.

SCRAPS posts its statistics for the last several years on its website. For 2012, it reported a live release rate of 82% with an intake of 5086 animals. This was an improvement over the 78% reported in 2011.

SCRAPS serves a large population and has a live release rate that is much better than average and is improving. It’s difficult to evaluate how well the shelter is really doing, though, because the shelter transfers a lot of animals to other organizations both inside and outside of its community coalition. The most recent community-wide statistics provided show a 74% live release rate for the coalition for 2010. There is further uncertainty due to the addition of the city of Spokane to the shelter’s jurisdiction in 2014.

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