Hamilton County, IN

Hamilton County is located in the middle of Indiana, north of Indianapolis. It has a population of about 275,000 people, and is one of the most rapidly growing counties in the United States. The Humane Society for Hamilton County (HSHC) is a private organization that contracts to provide animal sheltering services for the county. The contract includes animal sheltering services for the municipalities of Fishers (population 77,000), Carmel (79,000), Noblesville (52,000), and Westfield (30,000 ).

The shelter takes in owner surrenders from residents of its service area. It asks owners to call first. There is no charge for surrenders from the shelter’s jurisdiction, but residents of the municipalities in the county that do not contract with HSHC must pay a fee for surrenders.

HSHC posted partial statistics for 2011 in a newsletter that is no longer online. Those statistics showed an intake of 3461 animals in 2011, with 501 animals already on hand. 145 of those animals died in shelter care or were euthanized during the year, and the shelter placed 3700 animals. The live release rate was 96% for the year calculated as the inverse of 145 divided by 3461. I could not locate full 2012 statistics posted online, but HSHC reports a 90.3% live release rate for 2012, calculated as live releases divided by total intake. They report that total intake for 2012 was 3220.

HSHC’s website documents their programs for pit-bull adoptions, spay-neuter assistance, and pet retention, as well as foster and volunteer outreach. Trap-Neuter-Return for feral cats is provided by an independent low-cost spay-neuter clinic located next to the shelter.

Hamilton County is counted in the Running Totals as a 90%+ community.