Humane Society of Utah achieves no-kill milestone, saves 11,318 animals in 2015

Posted at 8:00 PM, Jan 21, 2016
and last updated 2016-01-21 22:00:42-05

SALT LAKE CITY — The Humane Society of Utah announced Thursday that, for the first time in their 55-year history, they had achieved “no-kill” statistics for both cats and dogs.

According to a press release, HSU saved the lives of 11,318 animals in 2015 and reached no-kill statistics for both cats and dogs. To celebrate, ribbons for each animal were tied to the main entrance fence at HSU.

“Staff and volunteers tied ribbons in tribute to the animals they helped last year,” stated Gene Baierschmidt, HSU executive director, in a press release. “We couldn’t do what we did without the help of the community, though, which is why students helped with the project and came out to tie ribbons with us.”

The milestone for dogs had already been reached over the past five years, but 2015 was the first year they reached the same status for cats. Combined, HSU had a 90.53 percent live-release rate for dogs, cats and other animals.

“We received a record number of cats and kittens in 2015,” Baierschmidt stated. “Our biggest challenge was to find homes for all of them and our shelter was full most of the summer. We waived adoption fees for cats and reduced kitten fees to qualified adopters as incentive, promoted creative marketing campaigns and, thankfully, had a lot of help from foster volunteers who helped raise young kittens and care for special-needs cats until they could be adopted.”

HSU had hoped to reach no-kill status by 2016, and they stated they were thrilled to reach that milestone earlier than expected. The press release also included other statistics from 2015:

  • The HSU Clinic performed 11,143 spay/neuter surgeries and 686 additional medical procedures on shelter animals to increase adoptability. The clinic also administered over 94,204 dog and cat vaccinations to ensure the health of both shelter animals and owned pets in the community.
  • The HSU Transfer and Rescue Program brought in 3,064 animals at risk of euthanasia to reduce the burden on other smaller shelters across the state of Utah and neighboring states.
  • The HSU Foster Care Program cared for 2,755 animals in need of special attention before becoming available for adoption.
  • Over 32,974 volunteer hours were logged by 14,000 active volunteers.

To learn more about HSU and the ways you can help, visit their website.