Portland area residents have banded together to create one of the safest communities for shelter pets in the US. Portland animal shelters saved 91% of homeless cats and dogs in 2013. That’s nearly double the national average according to the Humane Society of the United States.
One key to this unprecedented success was the formation of the Animal Shelter Alliance of Portland (ASAP) in 2006. Since the alliance formed, participating shelters have decreased euthanasia by 76%.
ASAP says this couldn’t have happened without their unwavering league of volunteers, veterinarians and partners. PetSmart Charities, the largest funder of animal welfare efforts in North America, funds a large part of ASAP’s highly successful low-cost spay/neuter program “Spay & Save.” Volunteers and residents from the community work on solutions with the shelters such as helping to keep pets in the family by connecting them with behavior training specialists, helping families spay and neuter their pets. They also show strong support for their shelters through adoption, fostering, volunteering or donations.
“It takes a village,” notes Stacy Graham, executive director of The Humane Society for SW Washington. “The people of the Portland/Vancouver area have truly stepped up to help animal shelters save as many homeless cats and dogs as possible. In order for us to continue to lead the nation, we need to stay dedicated to sustaining this huge community accomplishment.”
This certainly is quite an accomplishment. If they keep the momentum going, other cities around the country may start looking at them as a model of success. Seattle, are you one of them?