Amelia County, VA

Amelia County is a rural area of about 13,000 people located west of Richmond, Virginia. The municipal Amelia County Animal Shelter provides animal control and sheltering for the county. The shelter accepts owner surrenders at no charge during normal business hours.

The shelter relies heavily on transfers, with about 650 animals transferred in 2012 and 401 transferred in 2013. A shelter officer told me in response to an e-mail query that the shelter releases animals only to approved rescues. The official also told me that the shelter does not dispatch animal control officers to pick up stray cats, but will provide traps to residents who wish to trap stray cats and bring them in to the shelter.

The shelter describes its program as follows: “We promote our animals being housed at the shelter on the radio, in the local paper and on the internet at www.petfinder.org to reunite them with their owners and, if not, to hopefully find a new appropriate home. Adopters find a friendly knowledgeable staff always willing to help.

The shelter has a Petfinder page and there is a Facebook page run by a volunteer. Volunteers use the Facebook page to network for the shelter’s Urgent dogs. The Amelia Patrons For Animal Welfare (APAW), a non-profit that was formed in 1995, provides support for the shelter. Their first order of business back in 1995 was a new shelter facility, which they helped to accomplish in 1996. APAW works with local veterinarians on a low cost spay-neuter program, and their members also volunteer with the shelter.

The shelter’s intake has ranged from 631 to 1057 in the last four years. This is an intake of from 49 to 81 per 1000 residents in its service area, which is a very high intake.

Amelia County reports to the Virginia state database for animal shelters. It reported an 88% live release rate in 2010 and an 87% live release rate in 2011. In 2012, the shelter reached the 90% mark for the first time, with a live release rate of 91%. The state reporting form does not include a category for owner-requested euthanasia. The shelter’s live release rate for 2012 with the “died in facility” category counted with euthanasias was 90%. According to the statistics the shelter submitted to the state for 2013, the live release rate fell to 81%. This rate was unchanged if the one animal who died in shelter care is counted with euthanasias.

Amelia County, MI, is counted in the Running Totals as an 80%+ community.