Nevada County, CA

Nevada County is located in northern California, and it shares a border with the state of Nevada. The county has almost 100,000 human residents. On July 1, 2010, a non-profit called Sammie’s Friends took over management of the Nevada County Animal Shelter from the county sheriff’s office. Animal control is still done by the sheriff’s office. In addition to the strays picked up by animal control, the shelter accepts stray animals from the public. It also accepts owner surrenders “when possible” and with a small fee.

Shelter director Cheryl Wicks wrote an article for the spring 2012 newsletter in which she takes us through a day in the life of the shelter. As she says: “Running the shelter is a little like driving an ambulance, you must go fast and pay attention to detail because somebody’s life may depend on it. You must be ready to turn on a dime at any moment because amongst the everyday work there are endless surprises.”

Curt Romander, a co-founder of Sammie’s Friends, told me: “We have a large budget dedicated to medical care of sick or injured animals that come into the shelter. This budget is funded by donations from the community and grants. We are also funded by proceeds from our thrift store which has been very successful.” The spring 2014 newsletter describes how Sammie’s Friends funded veterinary care for the shelter and for animals in the community for years before taking over the shelter.

Romander sent me full statistics for the shelter for 2013, and they are linked here: Nevada County CA 2013 Statistics. He notes that the shelter has “maintained a euthanasia rate below 1% for the past 4 years.” My calculation of the live release rate for 2013 was 99.4%. The modified live release rate, with deaths in foster care, at the veterinarian, and at the shelter counted with euthanasias, is 96%.

The shelter places most of its animals by adoption, with 1147 animals (71% of its 2013 intake of 1626 animals) having been adopted. This is an adoption rate of 12 per thousand people. The spring 2013 newsletter describes one challenging case — a bonded pair of large, nine-year-old dogs who were aggressive toward cats. The shelter placed the dogs with a foster who trained them to leave cats alone, and ultimately adopted both of them.

Nevada County, CA, was originally listed by this blog on April 30, 2013, based on its 2012 statistics. This post is a revision and update with 2013 statistics.