Gallatin County, KY

Gallatin County, Kentucky, is located along I-71 between Cincinnati and Louisville. It is a rural county with a population of 8600 people. The county has a municipal shelter, the Gallatin County Animal Shelter, which is supported by a non-profit called Friends of Gallatin Shelter (FOGS). The shelter is open 7 days a week for adoptions. Deb Miller, president of FOGS, answered my questions about the shelter and provided its statistics.

FOGS managed the shelter from January 2011 to April 2013, when a FOGS board member took over and FOGS remained as shelter support. Miller said that before FOGS took over: “The place was a horrible mess, and the one paid county ‘Manager’ was as bad as bad could be. Animals were found dead in cages regularly, the manager only came to clean and feed every other day or so, and of course, the cats never made it out alive.”

The shelter accepts owner surrenders with no fee. They do not require an appointment for surrenders and do not use a waiting list, although occasionally during kitten season they may ask a person who wants to surrender a litter of kittens if they can wait until a foster is lined up or room is made. Gallatin animal control offers an owner-requested euthanasia service, but only for animals who are terminally ill. If an owner requests euthanasia for a non-terminal animal, the animal is taken into the shelter and placed by adoption or rescue. Owner requested euthanasias of terminal animals that are done by the animal control officer are not counted in the shelter’s statistics.

In 2011, according to the statistics Miller sent me, the shelter’s live release rate was 99% (98% if animals who died or were lost in shelter care are counted in with euthanasias). In 2012, the shelter took in 410 animals and had a 95% live release rate. In 2013, the shelter’s intake increased to 463 cats and dogs. Despite the increased intake, the shelter had a 100% live release rate in 2013. The modified live release rate (counting the two animals who died in shelter care against the live release rate) was 99.6%.

Miller said that they were especially proud of the 143 cats who were adopted from the shelter during 2013, which was a 60% increase in cat adoptions from 2012. She attributed the increase to their efforts at social networking and finding fosters. There was also a 55% increase in the number of dogs who went to rescues.

Gallatin County, KY, is counted in the Running Total as a 90%+ community.

90% Reported – Shelby County, KY

Shelby County Kentucky, has a population of about 42,000 people and is located just east of Louisville. Shelby County Animal Shelter & Control is the municipal shelter for the county. The shelter states on its Petfinder site that it accepts “all unwanted and stray animals in our county” and performs “neglect and abuse investigations” for the county. Shelby County No-Kill Mission is a non-profit that works closely with the shelter. Its director and co-founder is Kelly Jedlicki.

This June, the shelter will celebrate its fifth year of saving more than 90% of the animals it takes in. Shelby County was the first community in Kentucky to achieve the 90% rate. The shelter does not post its statistics online, but Rusty Newton, the shelter’s director, sent me the statistics by e-mail.

The shelter keeps its statistics on a fiscal-year basis, from July through June. In fiscal year 2010-2011, the shelter took in 1651 dogs and cats and had a live release rate of 95%. In fiscal year 2011-2012, the shelter took in 1486 dogs and cats and had a live release rate of 98%. So far in the 2012-2013 fiscal year the shelter has maintained its 98% live release rate. The shelter did not report any owner-requested euthanasia or animals died or lost in shelter care.

Shelby County, KY, is counted in the blog’s Running Totals as a 90%+ community.

Henderson, KY

Henderson County is in a rural area in the western part of Kentucky. The county contains the eponymous city of Henderson, which has a population of about 28,000. The combined population of city and county is about 46,000. The Ohio River separates the county from Evansville, Indiana, a city of about 117,000 people.

The Humane Society of Henderson County (HSHC) is a private non-profit that has the animal control and sheltering contract for both the city of Henderson and Henderson County. The shelter also accepts owner surrenders from its jurisdiction, with no conditions.

In a recent article, a reporter interviewed Josh Cromer, who was hired as the director of the shelter on October 3, 2011. Cromer discussed his first year with the shelter, and stated that the euthanasia rate for the first nine months of 2012 was only 5%, compared to 40-45% in previous years. Cromer stated that his three greatest accomplishments during the year were getting a good team together, reducing the euthanasia rate, and creating a cage-free area for cats. He expressed disappointment at not being able to attract as many volunteers as he wanted, and listed several improvements to the physical plant that are planned or in progress.

The shelter posts statistics on its home page, listing its statistics through September 22, 2012 as intake = 1247, return to owner = 80, adoption and transfer = 998, and euthanasia = 65. This is a 94% live release rate under the method used by this blog.

Last year the county floated a plan to take over animal control and build a pound. Some people feared this would lead to the county simply killing the animals that were impounded in the new facility. Fortunately, the proposal for the new pound has been tabled, and there do not appear to be any plans at this time to bring it up again.

Henderson County, KY, is counted in the Running Totals as a 90%+ community.