A Letter from the Director Regarding OC Animal Care's Statistics
Our 2013 statistics are posted on our Statistics page on the website.
You will note that all of the data is listed both comprehensively as well as by the individual cities we serve. We also list licensing data as we believe it’s important to show compliance rates and how that can affect intake and animals that are returned to their owners.
We feel that pet identification is a significant component in helping our shelter reduce intake and euthanasia. In 2013, only 1,818 stray animals total came into our shelter with some form of identification (license, microchip, ID tag, etc.) – Most of those were dogs. That means we impounded almost 27,000 animals that were unidentified. You will see that the Return to Owner numbers saw a slight increase this year, which is encouraging given that our total intake was lower. However, we must continue to stress the importance of identifying pets. We recently purchased several Pet ID machines that we’ve been utilizing at our adoption events to hand out free pet IDs (non-license). We will also begin selling pet tags in our Customer Service office in the coming months. We continue to work to implement programs, such as our new Take Me Home program, that incentivize dog licenses which are required by law if you own a dog in Orange County.
On a very positive note, our total animal intake continues to decrease! In 2013, it decreased by almost 1,400 animals, mostly in dog intake. Although our Return to Owner statistics may not show it, we believe that the lower intake, particularly with dogs, has been reduced because of the greater awareness and efforts related to Dog Licensing and pet ID, and more spay/neuter education. Our customer services staff receives calls daily from ‘Good Samaritans’ that have found pets with ID and we are able to connect those pets with their owners without the animals ever having to come to the shelter. These are statistics that are not calculated into our actual Return to Owner stats, but it’s important to touch on this as it again shows how significant those IDs are to getting pets back home. It’s always been important for us to promote spay/neuter as many animals, particularly free-roaming animals like cats, contribute heavily to the many animals that come into the shelter.
Another positive is our Adoptions/Live Release numbers held pretty steady across the board. Given that we had a lower intake, this would actually indicate that rates (percentages) were higher! We continue to provide monthly adoption events at the shelter thanks not only to the work of our staff, but also local organizations like The Anaheim Ducks, Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim, Animals for Armed Forces and Pathways to Hope (who does the Prison Pup program). Our non-profit Adoption Partners helped us tremendously this year by helping to place 4,624 special needs pets (2,442 dogs, 1,964 cats, and 218 bunnies, birds and exotic pets)! We are also very grateful to the Noble Friends Foundation for OC Animal Care that has provided generous recourses for our shelter medical program that has saved the lives of many special needs pets!
We continue to track the trends associated with euthanasia. Some of our greatest efforts this year have been focused on decreasing cat euthanasia. In 2013, we received a grant from the ASPCA to pilot a Trap Neuter Return program that specifically targeted the feral cats coming into our shelter. The purposes of this program, which we’re calling Feral FREE, is to reduce feral cat populations within the cities we serve and decrease unwanted litters of kittens that contribute so heavily to our cat euthanasia. Up to this point, trapping feral cats and euthanizing them has not contributed to decreasing feral cat populations. With the implementation of this program, we altered and released almost 1,400 feral cats back to the neighborhoods that they came in from. By altering and releasing these feral cats, it is our hope that we will also reduce the number of underage kittens that are brought into the shelter each year. In addition to the feral cat program, we continue to send underage kittens to our foster caretakers (502 fostered – an increase over last year) and work with our non-profit animal rescue groups (1,963 cats and underage kittens placed with rescues), to place as many cats as possible. Our cat euthanasia decreased by 24% in 2013 due to these efforts!
Our dog euthanasia rate was at an all-time low in 2013, at 10% this is a significant decrease from 19% in 2012! With dogs, we saw nearly 1,300 fewer dogs euthanized in 2013 and we believe this is due to almost 1,278 fewer dogs coming into the shelter and 138 more dog adoptions than in 2012.
We continue to host large shelter adoption events to increase public awareness and adopt more shelter pets. In 2013, we hosted ten adoption events, resulting in 630 adoptions!
Thank you to our community for assisting us with our efforts to reduce the number of unwanted animals in Orange County and decrease the numbers of animals coming into the shelter. We are looking forward to continued success in 2014!
Making Orange County a safe, healthy, and fulfilling place to live, work, and play, today and for generations to come, by providing outstanding, cost-effective regional public services.
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