Michigan animal shelters saved 91% of cats and dogs in 2019, report says

January 28, 2021
Animal
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Michigan animal shelters successfully placed most of the cats and dogs in their care in 2019.

The Michigan Pet Fund Alliance (MPFA) announced Thursday a collective 91% live release rate among Michigan animal shelters in 2019, a one percent increase from the previous year, according to their annual Live Release Report.

According to the Michigan Humane Society, the live release rate is determined by dividing total live outcomes (adoptions, outgoing transfers, and return to owner/guardian) by total outcomes (total live outcomes plus euthanasia not including owner/guardian requested euthanasia or died/lost in shelter/care)

“We would like to give a special shout out to three animal shelters that accomplished tremendous improvements,” said Deborah Schutt, MPFA founder and chairperson. “Lake County Animal Control improved by 62%, Cass County Animal Control by 58%, and Alcona Humane Society by 56%. Great work.”

Due to shutdowns caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, some shelters were late in submitting their 2019 shelter reports, which are usually due to the to Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development by March 31.

Therefore, the report usually published in the summer is being published late in 2020, a Michigan Pet Fund Alliance spokeswoman said. The 2020 report will be released in 2021.

Other takeaways from the report include:

Euthanasia was down again for the eighth year straight, with an additional 1,402 animals saved in the latest report. Transfers to other shelters and rescue groups increased significantly to 16,869 animals in 2019, an increase of more than a 3,000 from 2018.

After seven years of decreasing intake, the last two years have seen an increase. Michigan’s lowest intake was 128,869 animals in 2017, which increased to 146,684 in 2019.

Finally, the raw numbers indicate that dog intake (77,422) is higher than cat intake (73,321), but shelter dog euthanasia is lower (5,609) than cat (6,085).

“Our first live release report in 2009 showed more than 120,000 dogs and cats lost their lives,” Schutt said “Thanks to the relentless dedication of animal welfare advocates throughout the state and beyond to save cats and dogs in Michigan, that number has been reduced to 11,694. We are extremely proud of this progress, but we know our work is not done.”

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