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.