2012 numbers from the Cedar Bend Humane Society in Waterloo - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

2012 numbers from the Cedar Bend Humane Society in Waterloo


The Cedar Bend Humane Society's Co-Directors say there's a lot to be proud of during 2012, largely due to increased community support. Donations to the Waterloo-based humane society doubled last year and adoptions were up by ten percent.

Co-Director Kristy Gardner shared some intake, adoption and euthanasia numbers for 2012. The CBHS "handles" approximately 12,000 animals a year. That number includes animals that never make it from the field to the shelter for various reasons (including already deceased animals that control officers are called out to properly dispose of).

The total number of cats and dogs actually entering the shelter last year was 5,171. The number of cats/dogs adopted out was 1,319, 842 cats/dogs were returned to their owners, there were 162 euthanasia requests from the public and the total number cats/dogs euthanized in 20-12 was 1,867. That number is broken down by animals put down for injuries & illness (453 animals), aggression (208), feral cats (629) and other (577). Other includes FLK/FIV positive and extreme age.

Some people might wonder why any animals are put down. There are two main reasons: for the health of the animal and for the safety of the community.

"The process we do is we look at the health of the animal, we look at the temperament of the animal. Do they have food aggressions, are they aggressive toward people, are they safe to put back out into the public," said Kristy Gardner.

Just because an animal has a health issue or behavior issue does not mean it will be put down. In fact, that's where support from the community comes in to play.

The more money donated to the shelter the more in-depth medical care it can provide to all animals. People who go through the shelter's Volunteer Training Program can help work with animals on specific behavior issues and get that animal to the adoption floor, which recently happened with two dogs that came in.

"We had two Scottish terriers come in with very little socialization and one bit a little girl and was in a bite quarantine. Our volunteers were able to continue to work with them and socialize them," said CBHS Volunteer Coordinator.

Shelter staffers and volunteers work extra hard to correct any bad habits, which is successful more often than not.

"But we do have animals we know if they get loose, they're going to cause some severe damage and that's not responsible to put them back out into the public," said Gardner.

One misconception is that once an animal is placed on the adoption floor, it has a time limit there. That's not true.

"Once we make the decision an animals is to be placed for adoption, it stays with us until it's adopted," said Gardner.

The CBHS has three main goals in place to help the most animals.

"Education, community involvement, and increase adoptions. If we can accomplish those goals, then in turn, that will cause euthanasia numbers to drop," said Kristy Gardner.

Kristy Gardner said so many people at the shelter and in the community work hard for the animals, but the more people who join the effort the more animals can get a new home.

You might wonder why other shelters can be no-kill. Those shelters often pick and choose which animals they take in. Cedar Bend doesn't have that option. It takes every animal that is brought in.

To adopt out even more animals, the CBHS plans to get certified in the ASPCA's SAFER Program this summer. It's a safety assessment process to help better determine if animals are safe for adoption and the home they're best suited for.

Some other numbers for you from 2012 at the Cedar Bend Humane Society:

-1,031 cats/dogs were surrendered by their owners

-2,283 stray cats/dogs were brought to the shelter

-1,1,81 cats/dogs were brought in by animal control

-676 cats/dogs came in from surrounding communities

Every pet owner can help with the overall problem of pet overpopulation by spaying or neutering our animals.

Three-fourths of the animals that end up at the shelter are not spayed or neutered.

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