Our annual infographic is here! 2021 was the Vanderburgh Humane Society’s best year EVER with more adoptions and spay/neuter surgeries than any previous year! We achieved a 92% save rate, placing us ABOVE the industry standard for “no kill”!
By the Numbers
In 2021, we sheltered a total of 4,233 animals and achieved a 92% save rate. 3,431 animals were adopted, 83 were returned to their owners, and 56 were transferred out to specialized rescues. 262 animals were euthanized for health or behavior reasons, and 37 died naturally in our care. ZERO animals were euthanized due to lack of shelter space or staff time. In total, 3570 animals were saved (“live releases”), and 299 were not. While we strive to save 100% of the animals in our care, life-threatening health and behavior issues do sometimes leave us without options to save an animal. However, we continue to strive to save as many animals as possible, and the 92% save rate achieved in 2021 (surpassing the industry “no-kill” standard) is a testament to that work. Keep reading to learn more about how we saved 3,570 lives in 2021 (more ever before)!
Lifesaving Transport Partnerships
We worked proactively to save at-risk pets in our community and beyond through transport partnerships, saving 975 animals who may have had nowhere else to turn. Our largest transport partner was Evansville Animal Care and Control. We transferred in 503 animals from EACC in 2021, surpassing last year’s record by 200 animals! We worked with 23 transport partner organizations across 5 states, coordinating with everyone from small, local animal control agencies and shelters, to industry-leading national organizations including Best Friends and BISSELL Pet Foundation.
Spay & Neuter: the Key to Long-Term Lifesaving
Our Low Cost Spay & Neuter Clinic altered 7,073 animals, breaking the 2020 record! VHS is working toward a future in which pet overpopulation and homelessness are eliminated through spay and neuter. The 7,073 surgeries performed in 2021 will prevent thousands of unwanted litters, saving hundreds of thousands of animals from experiencing homelessness in the future. Spay and neuter is the number one way that VHS is transforming the state of animal welfare in our community. For some perspective, in 2005, 2 years before Davidson Rausch Low Cost Spay & Neuter Clinic opened, only 53% of dogs and 31% of cats who entered our shelter were saved. In 2021, 92% of animals who entered VHS were saved! We can attribute much of our success to our Clinic’s role in ending overpopulation at the source. We have made low-cost spay and neuter accessible to the public, other local animal welfare organizations, and feral cat trappers. In 2021, we provided spay/neuter services to 10 other local agencies and altered 1,046 community feral cats through “trap, neuter, return”. Our Clinic has altered over 93,000 animals since its founding in 2007, and we hope to celebrate the 100,000 surgery milestone in 2022!
All Paws on Deck
We owe our success in 2021 to our dedicated staff, volunteers, and fosters who continue to say “yes!” when confronted with new challenges. Last year, volunteers and fosters spent over 14,000 hours with our animals. In 2021, our volunteers always answered the call when we needed help caring for the hundreds of animals in our building, reducing the strain on our staff and giving the animals all the care they need to thrive. Cardio for Canines, an exclusively volunteer-run program, provided play time for hundreds of shelter dogs across 44 Saturdays in 2021. In addition, 134 dogs experienced the joy of a “Mutt’s Morning Out”, a weekday morning outing with a volunteer. Cardio for Canines and Mutt’s Morning Out are wonderful exercise and socialization opportunities for humans and canines alike!
Fosters Save Lives
Last year, 1,116 animals benefited from foster care, including hundreds of vulnerable neonatal kittens and puppies. In 2021, the VHS took in 824 neonatal kittens and achieved a 93% neonatal kitten survival rate. Foster families give kittens and puppies the best possible start in life by protecting them from shelter germs, providing specialized round-the-clock care such as bottle or syringe feeding, and socializing them in a “real life” environment. The expansion of our foster program has given us the confidence to take in more vulnerable (young, pregnant, injured, etc.) animals, knowing that we can count on our foster network to open their homes to them. Fosters save lives!
Community Resources Keep Pets and their Families Together
In 2021, we focused not only on intaking and rehoming animals, but also on providing resources to enable pets to stay in their loving homes. Volunteers distributed over 20,000 pounds of donated dog and cat food to those in need at monthly pet food assistance days (the 3rd Monday of every month). In addition to low-cost spay and neuter services, our Clinic also offered low-cost vaccinations, parasite prevention, and microchipping at 24 public wellness clinics in 2021. We also provided temporary shelter to four pets through our Safe Pet Program for pet owners fleeing domestic violence. The Safe Pet Program allows pet owners fleeing domestic violence to reunite with their pets once they are safe. At the Vanderburgh Humane Society, we recognize that temporary challenges should not end the loving relationship between pets and their people. By providing free and low-cost resources to our community, we help pets stay in their loving homes, where they belong. We recognize the importance of the human-animal bond for ALL people. We do not see pet ownership as an exclusive privilege. We are proud of our progress, and we will continue to expand our low-cost services, community outreach, and humane education efforts in 2022!
The great strides that the Vanderburgh Humane Society has made since our founding in 1957 were possible only through our donors’ generous support. We are a 501c3 nonprofit. We do not receive public funding and therefore rely exclusively on private donors to make our lifesaving work possible. We can’t thank you enough for your life-saving donations. We can truly say that every gift, whether it’s $1 or $1000, makes a difference in the lives of the over 11,000 animals who benefit from our services every year. With your help, we can save even more lives in 2022.
Click here to make a lifesaving contribution today!
To Mail a Donation:
Send a check or money order made payable to VHS to:
Vanderburgh Humane Society
P.O. Box 6711
Evansville, IN 47719