Multnomah County Animal Services shatters record for saving animals lives

February 26, 2015

From left: Multnomah County Animal Services' Melinda Hickey; Jennifer Sparkman; Dr.Meghan Romney; Aly Velazquez-Navarro; Mike Oswald

Multnomah County Animal Services released record-breaking save rate numbers on Thursday, Feb. 26 marking yet another milestone in the shelter’s commitment to finding homes for dogs and cats in the metro area. The save rate, or “live release rate,” is a nationally-recognized formula that measures the percent of animals that leave shelter facilities alive through adoption, return-to-owner, or transfer to another agency which can guarantee a home for the animals.

“It really equates to a social movement,” said Multnomah County Animal Services director Mike Oswald. “The number of animals that came through this facility 10 years ago was three times as much. People weren’t licensing their pets and the population exploded. We really started pushing our philosophy of responsible pet ownership - spay/neutering, licensing, microchipping, volunteering, fostering and adopting pets and the community has responded.”

Since adopting the Asilomar Accords method of animal data reporting in 2006, Multnomah County Animal Services has seen steady gains in the save rate but 2014 represented the highest save rate in the agency’s history with 94.1 percent of dogs and 87.1 percent of cats leaving the shelter alive. The combined rate for cats and dogs was 90.2 percent.  In 2013, 92.7 percent of dogs and 82.7 percent of cats were released to homes.   

“It’s amazing the kind of progress we’re making,” continued Oswald. “More people are becoming aware of the services we offer through our website, where you can look up lost pets, adoptable pets, licensing services and more. All of those things contribute to the success of the live release rate and neighborhood livability.”

As Portland’s only open door shelter accepting all animals, Multnomah County Animal Services has been dedicated to creating policies and programs tailored to the needs of the community. The latest numbers represent significant strides in finding pets homes, but there is still work to be done.

“We’ll continue to push our message of responsible pet ownership and as our success continues we’re hoping the perception of the animal shelter will change as more than just a shelter in Troutdale but as an animal resource for everyone,” said Oswald.  





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