Brown County, WI

[For today’s News Bit and the Running Totals, click here.]

Brown County is located in eastern Wisconsin, bordering the Green Bay area of Lake Michigan. Its population is 248,000 people. Its county seat is the city of Green Bay, which has a population of 104,000. The Bay Area Humane Society (BAHS) is a private non-profit that provides animal sheltering for the county and all of its cities and towns, except for the city of Green Bay. BAHS accepts owner surrenders subject to a waiting list when they are full.

BAHS used to provide animal sheltering for the city of Green Bay. In June of 2013, though, Green Bay officials began sending animals picked up by animal control within the city limits to a veterinarian’s office for the stray hold period. Recently the city has been considering moving animal control and sheltering back to BAHS.

BAHS reports its statistics in the Asilomar Accords format. In 2014 the shelter took in 3780 cats and dogs and had a 94% live release rate. If owner-requested euthanasias and animals who died in shelter care are counted as euthanasias, the live release rate was 91%. Owner-requested euthanasias dropped considerably in 2014 from previous years. In 2013, BAHS intake not counting owner-requested euthanasias was 4640 and the live release rate was 88%. In 2012, the shelter took in 5043 cats and dogs (not counting owner-requested euthanasias), and the live release rate was 85%.

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

Gogebic County, MI

[For today’s News Bit and the Running Totals, click here.]

Gogebic County in Michigan and Iron County in Wisconsin are located across the state boundary from each other at the western end of Michigan’s upper peninsula. Gogebic County contains the town of Ironwood, which has over 5,000 people. Together, the population of the two counties is over 22,000 people.

The “Helping Orphaned Pets Everywhere” (H.O.P.E.) animal shelter, located in Ironwood, contracts with Gogebic and Iron counties  to provide sheltering for lost, stray, and abandoned animals and cruelty cases. The shelter also accepts owner surrenders “as space permits.” I called the shelter for more detail on the owner surrender policy and was told that if someone needs to surrender a pet and cannot wait, the shelter will take the pet even if they are full. A 2009 article about the shelter states: “Animals are not euthanized except in cases of unrelievable suffering, terminal illness or a known history of being a threat to the public.”

The state of Michigan collects statistics on all animal shelters in the state and posts them online. The report for H.O.P.E. for 2013 can be accessed here (scroll down to Help Orphaned Pets Everywhere). Intake in 2013 was 407 cats and dogs. The live release rate was 98%, with no reported owner-requested euthanasias. All animals adopted out were spayed and neutered. The shelter reported a 99% live release rate in 2012, with an intake of 472 cats and dogs. In 2011, H.O.P.E. reported a live release rate of 98% with an intake of 401 cats and dogs.

Gogebic County, MI, was originally listed by this blog on June 4, 2013, based on its 2012 statistics. This post is a revision and update with 2013 statistics.

Worth Watching – Dane County, WI

[For today’s News Bit and the Running Totals, click here.]

Dane County, in the southern part of Wisconsin, has 488,000 residents. The city of Madison, the state capital, is located in Dane County. Dane County contains over 60 cities, towns, and villages.

Animal sheltering is provided for the county by the Dane County Humane Society (DCHS), a private 501(c)(3) organization, which takes in strays for the county and accepts owner surrenders. The shelter asks people to make an appointment for surrenders, and charges a small fee.

In 2007-2008, Maddie’s Fund developed a strategic plan and a spay/neuter project to decrease euthanasia of shelter animals in Dane County. The plan included formation of a coalition which included DCHS, Dane County Friends of Ferals, Shelter from the Storm, and Heartland Farm Sanctuary.

DCHS reported a live release rate of 86% for 2012 (see page 27 in the link). Total intake for the year was 4704 cats and dogs. Intake increased sharply to 5211 dogs and cats in 2013 (6004 animals overall), and the live release rate was 85%.

Dane County, WI, is counted in the Running Totals as an 80%+ community.

Duluth, MN

Duluth, Minnesota, is a city of 86,000 people located at the western tip of Lake Superior. The city of Superior, Wisconsin (population 27,000), is just across the bay from Duluth. The metro area of the two cities is referred to as the Twin Ports.

Duluth has a city animal control department and a shelter where strays are held for several days. If an animal is not reclaimed during the hold period, it goes to the Animal Allies Humane Society. An Animal Allies shelter official told me in a telephone conversation that Animal Allies contracts with Duluth and three additional jurisdictions in Minnesota for animal sheltering — Hermantown (population 9000), Proctor (population 3000), and the southern sector of St. Louis County. Animal Allies also signed a contract starting January 1, 2012 for animal sheltering for the city of Superior. Animal Allies has shelter facilities in Duluth and Superior.

Animal Allies accepts owner surrenders by appointment. The shelter official told me that they try to schedule appointments as they have room for intake, but they make exceptions and will take in an animal immediately if an owner cannot wait for a spot to open up.

Animal Allies launched the Campaign for Zero in 2010 for the city of Duluth. They describe the campaign this way: “This campaign aimed to eliminate the euthanasia of healthy cats and dogs entering both shelters in the Duluth community.  January 1, 2011 marked its successful completion and since then, saving the lives of every healthy pet, in addition to scores of treatable animals, continues to be achieved by progressive spay/neuter, adoption, and humane education initiatives. When Animal Allies began operating the City of Superior owned shelter on January 1, 2012, the Campaign for Zero expanded with the organization.” 

Animal Allies has statistics posted on their website for 2009 through 2011 for the Duluth community (Animal Allies and Duluth Animal Control),  and for the Twin Ports area (including Superior) for 2012 and 2013. The live release rate was 88% in 2009 and 93% in 2010, the first year of the Campaign for Zero. For 2011, the coalition reported a 95% live release rate. The 2012 Twin Ports live release rate was 97%. In 2013, the Twin Ports live release rate was again 97%, with a total intake of 3334. The live release rate for 2013 was 95% if owner-requested euthanasia and animals who died or were lost in shelter care are included.

Duluth, MN, was originally listed by this blog on April 17, 2013, based on its 2012 statistics. This post is a revision and update with 2013 statistics.

Brookfield, WI

The city of Brookfield is a suburb of Milwaukee, Wisconsin, that has about 38,000 human residents. It is the location of the Elmbrook Humane Society (EHS), which provides animal control and sheltering services for the city of Brookfield and accepts owner surrenders.

EHS also provides animal control and sheltering for several nearby communities, including the villages of Lannon, Chenequa, Elm Grove (population 6000) and Natosha, and the towns of Brookfield (population 6000) and Delafield (population 7000). The shelter takes in owner surrenders from outside its area when it can, and pulls animals from other animal control facilities, including Milwaukee. In total, the shelter takes in about 2500 domestic and wild animals per year.

The shelter has posted graphs on its website to summarize statistical outcomes for 2011, 2012, and 2013 for dogs and cats. The live release rate for 2011 was 89%. For 2012 EHS reported a 98% live release. For 2013, the live release rate was 97%. The shelter does not report any owner-requested euthanasias. For each year the live release rate is about 1% lower if animals who died in shelter care are included with euthanasias. Total intake in 2013 was 1867 dogs and cats, which is 33 animals per 1000 residents in the EHS service area.

Brookfield, Wisconsin, was originally listed by this blog on April 20, 2013, based on its 2012 statistics. This post is a revision and update with 2013 statistics.

Lincoln County, WI

Lincoln County, Wisconsin, has about 30,000 human residents and is located in the north central part of the state. The Lincoln County Humane Society (LCHS) is a private non-profit that provides sheltering services for local governments. I spoke to a representative at the shelter who informed me that LCHS has a contract with the county for dog sheltering, and also has agreements with the two cities in the county — Merrill (population 10,000) and Tomahawk (population 3000). She told me that although LCHS is not contractually obligated for cat sheltering or taking in owner surrenders, LCHS provides both services because they view that as part of their mission.

The shelter’s website states that, although they do accept owner surrenders, they do not accept aggressive animals. The shelter representative told me that LCHS has an appointment system for owner surrenders, but they make exceptions for cases where a person cannot wait for an appointment. They ask for a donation for owner surrenders but do not require a donation. They do not offer owner-requested euthanasia.

LCHS recently posted their statistics for 2012, and they reported a 98% live release rate for the year. Their modified live release rate (which includes animals who died in shelter care in the “euthanasia” category) was 95%. The shelter reports a percentage for each type of disposition rather than the actual number. LCHS’s total intake in 2012 was 1258 animals. This is a high intake (42 animals per 1000 population).

LCHS has a TNR program for cats, although the shelter representative told me that they generally cannot release the cats back to the location where they were trapped, due to local opposition. Instead, they have a barn cat program to re-home the cats.

I asked the LCHS representative if 2012 was the shelter’s first year of a 90% or better live release rate, and she said that the shelter had followed the same policies for several years but last year was the first time that they had a computer system to track their statistics. She mentioned that Lincoln County is rural and not wealthy, with high unemployment, and that an important part of their program was a Petsmart grant that provides low-income spay-neuter services and vaccinations. The county does not have any breed bans and does not have a mandatory spay-neuter rule.

Lincoln County, WI, is counted in the Running Totals as a 90%+ community.