Animal Shelter Reaches Milestone Animal Save Rate

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(Gloucester Township, NJ) – The Camden County Animal Shelter has become the only open admission animal shelter in the region to achieve a 91 percent animal save rate in 2017. Specifically, the save rate was 92 percent dogs and 91 percent cats. By comparison, in 2009 the shelter’s save rate was 73 percent for dogs and 46 percent for cats.

“This monumental goal is one that everyone involved with the animal shelter have had their sights on for several years, and knew it could be achieved,” said Freeholder Jonathan Young, liaison to the Camden County Animal Shelter. “I commend the Camden County Animal Shelter, and share in their excitement on reaching this milestone while continuing to improve and enhance the overall complex.”

The goal of achieving a live release rate over 90 percent is an initiative driven by a collaboration of many leading national animal welfare organizations. The Camden County Animal Shelter partners with national animal welfare agencies to learn best practices and lifesaving programs. Based on the lessons learned, the progressive lifesaving measures the shelter has implemented resulted in a 7 percent live release increase from 2016 to 2017.

“This record-breaking accomplishment was achieved with continuing support from the Board of Freeholders, Camden County staff, local outreach programs, enhanced community education efforts, and partnerships with rescue organizations,” said Vicki Rowland, Executive Director of the Camden County Animal Shelter. “Our vision is to save even more lives in the coming years and to sustain a more than 90 percent save rate into the future.”

A total of 1,540 animals were transferred out to other rescue agencies in 2017, an increase of 37 percent or 417 more lives saved. In addition, the foster care program and our dedicated volunteers increased care capacity to save more lives.

“The significant increase in our ability to save more cats was the result of building relationships with organizations and rescues focused on Trap-Neuter-Return (TNR) programs to assist with community cats that entered the shelter,” Roland said. “Last year, the Freeholder Board introduced a Community Cat Ordinance to serve as a model for municipalities throughout the county dealing with the challenge of stray and feral cats.”

This ordinance authorizing TNR programs creates a safety net for both the cats and the community. As fewer kittens are born, the community cat population is reduced. It is estimated that there are somewhere between 1.3 and 2 million stray and cats in New Jersey. In Camden County, this represents approximately 123,000 cats, almost 25,000 of which are estimated to be considered as stray or feral.

“We are committed to saving all healthy and treatable animals in our care,” Rowland said. “It is our mission to do everything we can for the homeless animals in our community.”

The Camden County Animal Shelter services provide shelter for stray/unwanted animals, find those animals loving homes, and offer low-cost spay/neuter services. Camden County Animal Shelter’s mission is to end companion animal homelessness in Camden County through community awareness and responsible ownership.

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