Kitsap Humane Society had a record-breaking year in 2017, helping more than 7,000 animals find their forever homes. (Courtesy photo)                                Kitsap Humane Society photo                                Kitsap Humane Society had a record-breaking year in 2017, helping more than 7,000 animals find their forever homes.

Kitsap Humane Society had a record-breaking year in 2017, helping more than 7,000 animals find their forever homes. (Courtesy photo) Kitsap Humane Society photo Kitsap Humane Society had a record-breaking year in 2017, helping more than 7,000 animals find their forever homes.

Kitsap Humane Society: ‘The little shelter that could’

2017 was a record-breaking year for KHS.

SILVERDALE — The data from 2017 is in, and Kitsap Humane Society scored some triumphs in its record-breaking year, including helping more than 7,000 animals in need.

“The Kitsap community has been so supportive and has driven an increase in adopted animals for four consecutive years,” said Executive Director Eric Stevens.

Through the Rescue Me program, KHS worked with rescue partners to save 2,473 pets from stricken areas, including California, Puerto Rico and Texas. KHS also took in 3,204 strays and 1,358 surrendered pets, and helped return 731 lost pets to their families. That’s 7,035 admitted pets, of which 6,810 went to new homes.

KHS rehomed 6,391 in 2016; 5,528 in 2015; 5,192 in 2014; and 4,201 in 2013. This equals a 62-percent increase in only four years.

Stevens said that in the past three years, the number of transfers through the Rescue Me program has doubled. The number of animals placed in foster care through KHS has increased by 50 percent in the same amount of time, “which essentially allows us to expand the walls of our shelter to care for more animals in need, including fragile animals recovering from surgery, bottle babies and animals that need a break from the stress of the shelter environment.”

“A major factor is support from more than 600 volunteers, 350 of whom volunteer at the shelter on a regular basis walking dogs, brushing cats and assisting with surgery,” Stevens said. “The hours contributed by volunteers are like adding 30 percent more full-time staff to our paid full-time staff of 50.”

Stevens said similar numbers are expected in 2018 “because we are at capacity now due to the space limitations of our current buildings.”

On top of rehoming animals or returning lost pets to their families, KHS also performed 5,607 spay and neuter surgeries in 2017, including reduced-cost surgeries for 2,122 pets belonging to low-income families. Another 300 pets from low-income families received vaccinations and microchips.

KHS’s Animal Control investigated a record 3,576 cases ranging from abuse and neglect to aggressive or hurt animals.

“Because of the community’s high regard for our lifesaving work and their trust in our animal control officers, we received more calls for help with stray animals,” Stevens said.

The number of fostered pets in 2017 was a record 1,230, including a 75-percent increase in adult and senior dogs needing more personalized care.

Nearly 3,000 households donated to KHS in 2017.

And finally, KHS was able to maintain its 96-percent lifesaving rate in 2017.

“This is due to the deep dedication on the part of our staff and volunteers to go the extra mile to treat and serve animals that wouldn’t have a chance at other shelters,” Stevens said.

“It is also due to the enthusiastic response of our community and its willingness to adopt shelter pets into their families. This is evident by the crowds that gather in our adoption lobby every weekend and many weekdays.”

Stevens added: “We are a progressive animal shelter with lots of support from our animal-loving community, volunteers and donors to offer cutting edge, lifesaving services to the animals in our Kitsap community and beyond. We call ourselves the little shelter that could!”

To learn more, visit www.kitsap-humane.org.

Michelle Beahm is the online editor for the Kitsap News Group. She can be reached at mbeahm@soundpublishing.com.

Kitsap Humane Society had a record-breaking year in 2017, helping more than 7,000 animals find their forever homes. (Courtesy photo)

Kitsap Humane Society had a record-breaking year in 2017, helping more than 7,000 animals find their forever homes. (Courtesy photo)

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