Michigan Humane Society 2010 Report to the Community

MHS/PetSmart Cat Adoptions

Michigan Humane Society 2010 Report to the Community
Having Achieved 100% Adoption of Adoptable, Healthy Animals in 2010, New Top Goal is Guaranteed Placement of All Healthy and Treatable Animals

The Michigan Humane Society (MHS) is the largest and oldest humane organization in the state. Here is a look at MHS key stats and challenges as of 2010, and where MHS is headed in 2011 and beyond:

  • In 2010, MHS reached its foremost goal, set forth in 2002, of 100% adoption of healthy, adoptable dogs and cats.  Not one single healthy adoptable animal was euthanized by MHS in 2010 – not even due to limited space, which can always be a challenge (especially during the peak summer “cat season”).  This is an unprecedented achievement for a large, open-admission organization.
  • MHS does not turn animals away. Open-admission means not limiting animal intakes based on the type of pet, breed, the animal’s condition/potential adoptability, geography/where they are from, space availability, etc.
  • MHS does however strongly encourage stray animals to be taken to the appropriate animal control shelter (or the appropriate humane shelter if a municipality is contracting with a third party for stray holding) for the best possible chance of reuniting the animal with his/her owners; MHS has contracts with a few cities in western Wayne County.
  • MHS also takes in and adopts out healthy animals from some animal controls around the state including Detroit Animal Control (DAC), Livingston County Animal Control, Jackson County Animal Control and a host of other animal groups from overwhelmed communities as we can save lives through our strong adoption program.  And, in the case of DAC, this supports the city of Detroit by allowing them to focus their animal control manpower on picking up strays/public safety.

How MHS achieved 100% adoption of healthy, adoptable dogs and cats:

  • Cat adoption has always been way more of a challenge than dog adoptions, largely due to shelter and foster program space limitations during the peak summer “cat season.”
  • Since 2008, MHS has engaged in off-site cat adoption partnerships with PetSmart store locations.  MHS added a fourth PetSmart partner in 2010, and two more in early 2011. More than 1,500 cats and kittens have been adopted to loving families through this program, allowing MHS to save more animal lives.
  • MHS operates a low-cost feline spay/neuter program for the pets of qualifying low-income pet owners.  It’s open to residents of Detroit, surrounding communities, Macomb County, western Wayne County, and Oakland County.
  • Over the last 20 years MHS has spayed or neutered more than 270,000 animals!
  • In striving to reach (and achieve) that 100% adoption of healthy, adoptable animals goal, we also doubled our placement rate of treatable animals in 2010 (vs. 2009), to 43% of treatable dogs and cats finding homes.  Treatable animals are those who require significant additional medical care or behavior modification.  Unfortunately, there were still 2,659 treatable animals MHS could not treat in 2010 because the need still exceeds our resources.
  • Although this is huge progress, we recognize it is not enough until every animal who is potentially adoptable finds a new home.  So, MHS immediately set course on a new goal of – in addition to maintaining 100% adoption of healthy adoptable animals – Guaranteed Placement for every healthy and treatable dog and cat at MHS within the next several years
  • When looking at animal placement statistics within a whole state, community or organization, we need to differentiate between healthy animals vs. treatable animals vs. unhealthy/untreatable animals.  MHS utilizes the national standards set forth in the Asilomar Accords, which are also used by Maddie’s Fund, a nationally renowned no-kill organization.

MHS 2010 Key Shelter Animal Statistics:

  • By law, Michigan shelters must report their dog and cat intakes, adoptions and euthanasia figures annually to the Michigan Department of Agriculture.
  • One of the three MHS centers for animal care, the MHS Detroit Center for Animal Care (not to be confused with Detroit Animal Control, or DAC) – took in more animals than any other shelter in the state (nonprofit or animal control).  MHS’ other two centers for animal care are in Rochester Hills and Westland. 
  • In 2010, MHS’ three centers for animal care took in a total of 29,278 animals. 
  • Of these, MHS took in 15,601 unrehabilitatable animals, or animals that were suffering or too aggressive to be placed into homes, primarily at the MHS Detroit Center for Animal Care.
  • Reasons for this number include operating a truly open-admission facility in a large urban environment during a major economic downturn, and taking in the majority of animals other groups cannot or will not accept.
  • MHS adopted out 7,046 animals: 5,005 healthy and 2,041 treatable animals.

In addition to operating three of the largest animal shelters in Michigan, some other key MHS programs include:

  • The Michigan Humane Society’s Cruelty Investigation and Rescue Department respond to a combined total of more than 8,000 calls each year, in Detroit, Hamtramck and Highland Park.
  • MHS provides high quality, affordable veterinary care to more than 50,000 clients annually. MHS also offers a low-cost feline spay/neuter program.
  • MHS is a leader in statewide legislative advocacy.
  • MHS humane education programs reach approximately 10,000 children each year.
  • MHS operates a Keeping Families Together initiative, recognizing its importance in saving animal lives during the economic challenges faced by our state.  

Download: 2010 MHS Report to the Community (pdf 200KB)


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