Bay County Animal Shelter nearly reaches no-kill designation

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BAY COUNTY (WJRT) (1/31/2018) - The Bay County Animal Shelter reported a big increase in the amount of animals leaving the facility alive, nearing "no-kill shelter" status.

In 2017, the live release rate jumped to 85 percent -- up from 66 percent the year before.

New County Executive Jim Barcia made it his mission to make Bay County a "no kill county," which requires at least 90 percent of animals in the shelter to be saved.

Barcia requested help from the nonprofit, all-volunteer Michigan Pet Fund Alliance and organized a strategic plan committee to implement best practices for the care and adoption of shelter animals.

“The work of this committee is ongoing,” said County Administrative Services Director Debra Russell, who is chairwoman of the plan committee. “Over the course of six months, our group drafted and implemented a strategic plan identifying areas that need improvement to reach our goal of saving healthy and treatable dogs and cats, reducing the number of animals by spaying and neutering, and increasing our adoption rates.”

Over the past year, Animal Control has made a number of improvement to achieve that goal, including:
-- Improving the layout of the building to reduce stress on animals.
-- Spaying and neutering all animals before adoption.
-- And participating in a trap-neuter-release program for feral cats.

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