first_imgMany people know that spay/neuter is the only permanent solution to pet overpopulation. Simply finding homes for them is not enough… That has been proven for decades, as the shelters only get more crowded. Since we opened our Low-Cost Spay & Neuter Clinic in July 2007, we have seen significant improvements for animals in our community. For example: In 2008, the first full year of our Clinic’s operation, we took 3,410 homeless animals into our shelter. But by offering low-cost spay & neuter services to the public, look how the Intakes numbers have declined!2009: 3,6032010: 3,3812011: 3,0642012: 2,9022013: 2,6112014: 2,3682015: 2, 378That’s a 25% decrease in Intakes since the Clinic opened!Adopted” refers to animals who actually were adopted through our facility.Sent to Rescue” means that the animals were transferred to other agencies that had more space. (Most of these are cats who went to Chicago.)Returned to Owner” refers to animals who were brought in as strays or “found” pets, but were eventually reunited with their families!Died, refers to animals who simply died from natural causes while in our care.Now, let’s look at a tougher number. Euthanasia rates. While this is a sensitive topic for many people, the fact is that shelters nationwide only have so much space and they only have so much money & staff to care for a certain number of animals. Thanks to our larger facility where we moved in 2004, we’re able to serve thousands more animals annually than most other agencies in the Tri-State.No one wants to see animals euthanized. We are not a “no-kill” shelter and we do not claim to be. VHS takes in thousands of animals from across the region that other local “no-kill” agencies simply turn away because they do not have room. The myth of no-kill is that every time an animal needs a place to go, a no-kill facility will welcome them with open arms and that the world is a wonderful place! The reality is: “no-kill” typically means “no-vacancy.” The waiting list to surrender animals to no-kill facilities is often months or years long. Pets who need a place to go simply cannot wait that long. At VHS, no owner-surrendered animal is ever turned away for lack of space. VHS does not have a time limit. We don’t simply keep animals up for adoption for a certain amount of time, and then euthanize them. We try as hard as we can with as many as we can and our save rate for 2015 was 82%. (The national average for open-admission shelters is around 50%.) We have programs in place to help us find suitable homes for as many as possible. But sometimes, for health or temperament reasons, we have a tough decision to make.In 2008, the first full year after the Clinic opened, we had to euthanize 1,804 animals. This is a pretty heartbreaking number, and it was pretty typical of most other years prior to that. But look at how euthanasia rates have changed since then:2009: 1,951 (more animals taken in than in 2008)2010: 1,3822011: 1,3382012: 1,0342013: 7802014: 5482015: 458We have decreased euthanasia by 66% since our Spay & Neuter Clinic opened!!This is an astronomical accomplishment, and there are almost no other contributing factors. Other agencies have cropped up since then, but they do not affect our numbers. For example, Another Chance for Animals pulls exclusively from Evansville Animal Control. It Takes A Village Canine Rescue deals with dogs only, whereas 2/3 of the animals we deal with are cats. Plus, while ITV occasionally rescues local dogs, many of theirs come from trips out-of-state to go acquire dogs from other shelters in states like Alabama. Other counties’ agencies, such as Posey Humane Society, Warrick Humane Society, and Gibson County Animal Services have significantly smaller capacities. In fact, we took in almost 1,000 animals from Warrick County alone last year.What about some of these other numbers?Our Clinic performed 7,323 spay & neuter surgeries. This includes our shelter animals (dogs, cats, and rabbits) being altered before they go home with their new families. It also includes animals fixed on spay/neuter transports for 15 agencies in all 3 local states.Our Pit Stop Program focuses on spaying/neutering pitbulls in Vanderburgh County at no cost to their owners. 66 pitbulls were fixed in 2015, and more than 200 in 2014. By reducing the number of unaltered pitbulls running the streets, we can greatly improve their chances of survival in shelters and eventually eliminate the negative stereotypes that these wonderful dogs face in the media.12, 317 medical treatments were administered to 733 sick or injured shelter animals in 2015. This includes, but is not limited to:upper respiratory infections in catsear infections in dogsdewormingflea & parasite treatmentcanine heartwormringworm2,776 kids were served through Humane Education programs at schools, Scout meetings, churches, and so on. We offer programs on things like responsible pet ownership, dog bite prevention, and many other topics!Around 200 families with 400+ pets were served through Emergency Pet Food Assistance. This program provides dog & cat food on the 2nd and 4th Monday of the month to low-income families who are temporarily having financial problems and cannot afford food for their pets. Rather than having to relinquish their pets to a shelter, this helps ensure that more pets can stay in their homes until their families get back on their feet.What we want the public to know is: What we’re doing is working. The donations are working. But we can always improve.We encourage the public to make a difference by making a tax-deductible donation at LinkEmailSharelast_img read more