Winnebago County Animal Services 2019 Highlights: 34% increase in adoptions

Published: Mar. 2, 2020 at 5:20 PM CST
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Thousands of animals, thousands of calls for service and more lives saved is the story of 2019 at Winnebago County Animal Services (WCAS).

In 2019, total intake at WCAS was 4,612 animals, just ten fewer animals that in 2018. Cat and dog intake actually increased with 117 more cats and 106 more dogs being cared for at the shelter last year. WCAS reunited 763 pets with their families and saw a 34% increase in adoptions over 2018 with 2,110 adoptions in 2019.

Officers at WCAS are also a busy group and cover more than 500 square miles of territory 365 days per year. In 2019 this group of six officers responded to more than 9,000 calls and investigated more than 700 bites.

“Our goal at WCAS is to provide excellent care to animals in need and to provide professional service to the residents of Winnebago County and all visitors,” says Administrator, Brett Frazier.

A significant contributor to the upturn in adoptions for cats was the expansion of the WCAS - PetSmart partnership through the PetSmart Charities In-Store Adoption Program. Prior to 2019, WCAS placed adoptable cats and kittens in just one PetSmart location, Machesney Park. But last year grew to five PetSmart locations across Northern Illinois and Southern Wisconsin.

WCAS PetSmart location adoptions accounted for 446 cat and kitten adoptions. Total cat and kitten adoptions grew by 355 cats/kittens to 1,211 in 2019 which includes the PetSmart adoptions.

Despite WCAS taking in virtually the same number of animals in 2019 as in 2018, euthanasia plummeted 50.5% for cats and 37.4% for dogs and the department live release rate was 84% for cats and dogs, all up from just 69% in 2018.

“We have more work to do in 2020. The work of an animal shelter is really never done and we look at each year as an opportunity to assess what went well, what we could have done better, and then we work to make improvements where we can,” says Frazier.

Frazier presented this full report to the Winnebago County Board on February 27. You can view that report