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VHS' 2016 Impact
The numbers are in! Here are all of the AMAZING things we accomplished in 2016 thanks to our supporters!
2,989 animals sheltered, 82% from Vanderburgh County
VHS is an open-admission shelter, which means we do not turn away any owner-surrendered animals. People do not have to live in Vanderburgh County/Evansville to surrender an animal or use almost ANY of our services (excluding the Pit Stop program.) We are one of the largest animal welfare agencies in the entire Tri-State. We pride ourselves on being open-admission and on the standard of care we provide.
We accept owner-surrendered animals, stray animals as space allows, and we also transfer in animals from other local shelters who are full as often as we can. (Mainly dogs.) We do accept any type of domestic animal. Not just dogs, cats, and rabbits, but also reptiles, pocket pets & rodents, birds, pigs, goats, and even hermit crabs.
That is amazing! Again, adopters do not have to live in Evansville or even in Indiana. Anyone who’s able to come to our facility is able to adopt! We are open Tuesday-Saturday 12-6 CST. Browse adoptable pets at www.vhslifesaver.org/adoption!
This is always a hard number for people to read. But we are open about our practices and why euthanasia still happens. There are still animals who arrive at shelters with severe, life-threatening diseases. There are also animals coming into shelters with behavior or aggression problems that would be considered unsafe in almost any home, much less one with young children.
- 34 animals died (all of these were very young, sick kittens)
- 404 animals were euthanized: 150 for aggression/behavior, and 254 for severe health issues.
In a perfect world, no animal would have to be euthanized for these issues. Every single one was an individual. Every single one had a name and a story. And every single one received love and equal care during their time with us, however long it was. What’s important to remember is that we need to tackle these problems in our community at the source:
- obedience & behavior training for dogs at a young age
- spay & neuter to prevent overpopulation and genetic health & behavior problems
- responsible ownership, including providing regular vet care for the duration of the pet’s life
These solutions start with you. There are plenty of ways for the community to get involved in our efforts. Just ask!
227 Transferred Out
These are animals that we sent to other facilities who had more space. The vast majority of these are cats, as we still struggle with overcrowding of cats every single year.
103 Reclaimed by Owner
These are animals who were lost and came to the VHS as strays, and their owners were able to reunite with them. Many of these were due to microchips and/or collars with up-to-date tags! Be sure your pet always has both lines of defense in case they’re ever lost so you can be reunited quickly. It can happen to anyone.
29,101 Doses of Medication Given
This includes flea/tick prevention, medications for common conditions like infections or wounds, ear mite treatment, etc.
25 Dogs Treated for Heartworms
Heartworm treatment costs an average of $250 for one dog. It’s a significant expense that VHS incurs, and that cost is never passed on to adopters. You can make a donation specifically to the Maxine Fund at www.vhslifesaver.org to help us treat heartworm-positive dogs in 2017!
Be sure your dog receives monthly heartworm prevention year-round no matter their size, even if they live indoors only. All it takes is one mosquito bite outside going potty for heartworms to infect a dog. Get your dog tested annually. Talk to your veterinarian about the best options for your dog!
496 Animals Benefited from Foster Care
Our foster care program serves a variety of animals. These include:
- unweaned puppies & kittens
- sick or injured animals
- undersocialized animals
- animals who are severely stressed in the shelter environment
- pets enrolled in the Safe Pets program for domestic violence victims
To open your home & heart to animals in need of foster care in 2017, visit www.vhslifesaver.org and read more information about fostering!
17 FIV+ Cats Adopted
For many years, being positive for FIV (feline immunodeficiency virus) was a death sentence for shelter cats. Now we have much more knowledge about this disease, and we can put positive cats up for adoption! Many cats live long, happy, healthy lives with FIV. They can even live with cats who don’t have FIV if everyone gets along well! Ask any of our Adoptions staff if you’re interested in adopting an FIV+ cat!
19 Pets Housed through Safe Pets
This program is designed to provide a resource for pets belonging to people fleeing domestic violence situations. We work closely with human agencies such as Albion Fellows Bacon Center and the YWCA. For information on this program, visit www.vhslifesaver.org or call (812) 426-2563 extension 220.
Cardio For Canines
The VHS’ newest program began last June and has exploded in popularity! Anyone can come walk or run with a shelter dog at Garvin Park on Saturday mornings from 8:00-9:30 am. Help give our shelter dogs much-needed exercise, new sights & smells, and companionship -- and you get all those things, too! For all the info about CFC, visit them on Facebook at www.facebook.com/cardioforcanines or on Instagram at @cardioforcanines.
Davidson Rausch Low-Cost Spay & Neuter/Vaccine Clinic
Our Clinic is celebrating its 10th birthday this summer! Since that time, we have altered more than 58,000 local animals. WOW!
Remember, anyone can use our Clinic regardless of where you live or what your income is. For pricing on our various services, visit our homepage at www.vhslifesaver.org. To schedule a spay/neuter appointment, call (812) 426-2563, option 1!
We also provide surgeries for 15 other agencies in Vanderburgh, Warrick, Posey, Perry, and Hancock counties in Indiana; and Henderson, Hopkins, McLean, & Daviess counties in Kentucky. If you’re a shelter or rescue group wishing to inquire about spay/neuter services with us, contact our Clinic Manager at (812) 426-2563 extension 217.
Part of our mission is to provide humane education to the public so we can tackle our community’s animal-related issues at the source. We provide programs for people of all ages and abilities through our Humane Education Department. To set up a program or tour for your school/preschool, Scout troop, church group, or business, call (812) 426-5263 extension 206.
Emergency Pet Food Assistance
Our pet food bank is there for low-income pet owners who are temporarily having a hard time making ends meet. Programs like this can help keep pets out of shelters if temporary emergencies come up, when their family may have otherwise had to surrender them. Food assistance operates twice monthly, on the 2nd and 4th Monday of each month (excluding major holidays) from 12:00-3:00 in the rear lobby. A driver’s license must be provided, and preference is given to those whose pets are spayed or neutered.
Thanks for reading! For more information on any of these statistics or to inquire about how you can get more involved, contact us at (812) 426-2563. We are always seeking volunteers in all of these Departments and in our Happy Tails Resale Shop on Saturdays. 2017 is going to be great and we hope you’ll be a part of it!
2017 Shelter Statistics:
Since July 30, 2007