Page County Animal Shelter recognized for saving 96 percent of animals last year

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Best Friends Animal Society spotlights shelter’s ‘culture of caring and compassion

~ Press release provided by Page County

STANLEY, Oct. 27 — The county’s animal shelter was recognized [recently] for its ongoing commitment to operating as a no-kill facility.

For achieving a save rate greater than 90 percent in 2022, the local shelter on Thursday received special recognition from the Best Friends Animal Society, joining “an elite group of organizations across the country who are leading the way toward making us a no-kill nation,” according to a letter from the nonprofit organization’s chief executive officer Julie Castle to Page County Animal Shelter Manager Jami Cooper.

“This accomplishment represents so much more than a number. It represents a culture of caring and compassion,” the letter reads. “It represents extraordinary leadership, both within your organization and within our broader animal welfare movement.”

In 2022, the Page County Animal Shelter took in 511 cats and dogs, euthanizing just 4.1 percent of the animals. The shelter saved the lives of about 95 percent of 275 cats that entered the shelter last year, while saving about 97 percent of 236 dogs.

“Best Friends Animal Society is a national group, and it’s a real honor to be recognized by them,” said Cooper. “When an animal comes through the front doors and you look at this sentient being and they look into your eyes — I would not be able to maintain my sanity if we euthanized perfectly healthy, adoptable animals.”

For maintaining a no-kill rate of less than 10 percent last year, the county’s animal shelter achieved a no-kill designation in January, marking the fourth time the facility has earned the status. Animal welfare organizations that are identified as no-kill facilities do not euthanize animals in order to create space for new animals. No-kill facilities may, however, euthanize animals to relieve pain or suffering or to protect the public from animals that are considered too dangerous to be adopted.

“Although 90 percent is, by definition, a number, organizations that achieve and maintain no kill are made up of people who never forget that each fraction of those percentage points represents a life saved,” Castle wrote in the recognition letter, which accompanied a plaque. “These ‘numbers’ represent cherished family members who are only alive because of your dedication and hard work.”

Page County Administrator Amity Moler echoed that sentiment, underscoring a dedicated staff committed to providing shelter, care and support to animals in need.

“I’m so proud of the shelter staff,” said Moler. “No matter how full the shelter gets, they consistently work hard to find a home or a rescue to provide a better future for the animals in their care.”

Cooper added that it is a group effort supported by volunteers, organizations and support groups.

“[I’m dedicated to this job] because of my love for animals and just wanting to make their lives better any way I can,” said the 18-year shelter manager. “But I couldn’t do that without the support of my staff and local groups that support us like Page SPCA and Page Paws.”

Cooper touted the Page County SPCA-sponsored spay and neuter clinic as well as the advocacy organization Page Paws, which works alongside the local SPCA and shelter to provide care to animals and oversee local trap and neuter efforts.

Those efforts are sometimes challenging, said Cooper, requiring after-hours coordination with groups and volunteers to save or place animals that aren’t considered “highly adoptable.” The end results — helping an animal find a “forever home” or receive the care they need — make the hard work worth it.

Last week, group efforts facilitated the rescue of five dogs. Another dog with an aggressive form of mouth cancer was placed in a foster home and is doing well with veterinary care.

“We didn’t even have to euthanize an elderly dog with cancer because there are rescue groups that help,” said Cooper. “It takes a village, and we couldn’t do it without the support.”

For more information about the Page County Animal Shelter, CLICK HERE.



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