Chippewa County, Michigan, is on the eastern edge of the Upper Peninsula. It has about 40,000 residents, including the county seat of Sault Ste. Marie. The Chippewa County Animal Shelter used to be high kill, but after local citizens got involved and asked for change the county hired a new shelter director, Holly Henderson.
In answer to an e-mail inquiry I sent to Henderson, I was told that the shelter takes in strays from both the county and the city of Sault Ste. Marie. The shelter takes in owner surrenders, although in situations where the animal is not at risk, the shelter may ask the owner to first place a listing on the shelter’s Facebook page and attempt to re-home the animal. Henderson told me that the owner surrender policy is flexible, and if the staff get the feeling that the animal is better off at the shelter, they will accept it even when they are full. They also immediately take in the ones who are not spayed or neutered, so the shelter can be sure they are altered before going to a new home.
The shelter reported a live release rate of 99% in 2013 with an intake of 1238 animals (scroll down in the link to the Chippewa County page). With owner-requested euthanasia counted as part of total euthanasia, the live release rate was 98%. The 2012 live release rate was 98%, with intake of 1076. If owner-requested euthanasia was counted with euthanasias in 2012, the live release rate was 97%. For 2011, the shelter reported a live release rate of 97%, with an intake of 959. In 2010, the shelter reported a 97% live release rate from an intake of 1,000 animals.
Henderson credits volunteers for much of the shelter’s success. She said that Friends of Caring Animal Shelters (FOCAS) and Guardian Angels for Animals had provided support to the shelter’s mission, and the Sault Ste. Marie Tribe of Chippewa Indians had made a $10,000 grant for a spay-neuter program.
Chippewa County, MI, was originally listed by this blog on April 16, 2013, based on its 2012 statistics. This post is a revision and update with 2013 statistics.