SILVERDALE — Caring for and finding homes for 6,391 animals is no easy task, but that’s what Kitsap Humane Society did in 2016, the third consecutive year of rapidly expanding intake and animals being rehomed.
Adoptions from the shelter hit a record 5,594 animals, 14 percent higher than 2015, and 60 percent higher than three years earlier, according to Eric Stevens, the agency’s executive director.
Stevens said the dramatic growth is a result of two trends: First, in 2016, animals were transferred from other shelters through the Humane Society’s highly popular Rescue Me program, 38 percent higher than 2015.
“Many of these pets were at risk of euthanasia before they arrived here,” Stevens said. “Our community is so tuned into this program via social media that usually within a few days of a large transfer, most of the animals are adopted out.”
The second factor, Stevens said, is that “the Humane Society has systemically expanded our capabilities for individualized care and treatment for each animal that arrives, including those sick, injured or traumatized animals needing more special attention.
“Growing use of medical and behavioral rehabilitation, and placing over 1,100 animals into foster care homes is helping us save more lives,” he said.
In addition to the increasing number of adoptions, Kitsap Humane Society said it was able to reunite 687 lost pets with their owners in 2016, an increase of 15 percent over 2015.
“Our highest priority is protecting animals in our local community,” Stevens said. “With the expansions in pet licensing, microchipping and growing awareness of our shelter and our animal control function, we are better able to locate owners, thereby relieving the fear and heartbreak when their pet went missing.”