Monday, September 21, 2009

Semi-Annual Report Is In....How Are We Doing?

The semi-annual report for 2009 is here and with it some numbers that are sad but also some that are a reason to feel hopeful.

As we all know, the economy is taking its toll on everyone. And the number of dogs and cats coming into shelters and rescue organizations shows it. People losing their homes can’t take their pet friends with them, they can’t afford to sterilize them or even care for them at all. When times are financially rough, sadly, a lot of times the animals are the first to go…

Here are the numbers for the first six months of 2009 for the state of Utah. The results combine the numbers of Utah’s shelters with those of rescue organizations & clinics participating in our programs:

• Intake: 37,934 dogs & cats
• Euthanasia: 14,949 dogs & cats
• Adoptions: 11,658 dogs & cats
• spayed & neutered: 15,181 dogs & cats

Even though the intake of dogs is slightly higher than cats (by about 500), the euthanasia number for cats is almost three times as high as for dogs. More dogs are adopted out, and far more are returned to their owners than cats are.

Maybe you are familiar with the e-metric. It measures the number of animals euthanized per 1,000 population. 5.0 for dogs & cats combined is considered ‘no-kill’. Ten years ago, when No More Homeless Pets in Utah started, the e-metric in Utah was at 21.6. The lowest e-metric for Utah since then was 12.3 in 2007. It went up to 13.3 in 2008, but during the first part of 2009 it went down again to 12.9.

So we are doing better than last year!! And we are hoping that we will continue on this trend: compared to the first six months of 2008, about 1,300 fewer animals were taken in, and about 1,000 fewer were euthanized. We’ve had more adoptions this year and more animals were fixed which is where it all starts…

There is one more important thing I wanted to mention: over the years the dog situation in Utah has improved significantly from 10.0 in 1999 to 3.0 now. This is fantastic!! But for cats it is very different, it only went down from 11.6 in 1999 to 9.9. I really do hope that we can turn this around for cats as well!! Erin wrote a wonderful blog about that!! And with your help I am sure we can!! Please get your cat or dog fixed to reduce the number of animals, and especially cats being born and ending up in shelters and rescue organizations!! Please help save their lives!!

Ellen Welsh
Statistics Coordinator