For the first time in its history, Hardin County Animal Care and Control now is classified as a no-kill shelter.
“We are elated at this achievement,” Director Mike McNutt said in a news release, noting from Jan. 1, 2019, through Dec. 31, 2019, 95 percent of the shelter’s animals had live outcomes.
“In real numbers, this means of the 2,743 animals that transitioned through our shelter in 2019, over 2,600 departed with a live outcome. If we had maintained our archaic way of doing business, only about 1,650 would have departed with a live outcome.”
According to the release, a shelter is classified as no-kill by not euthanizing for time and space (overcrowding). Only animals that are a danger to the public and animals who are unable to recover from health challenges are euthanized.
In October 2017, Hardin County Government created a strategic plan for the shelter with the goal of becoming pro-life by 2021.
“Achieving this status one year early is quite the feat and we couldn’t have done it without a lot of staff and stakeholder sacrifice,” McNutt said. “We have one of the leanest and highest performing shelter teams in the region and this shows their love and dedication for animals.”
Hardin County Deputy Judge-Executive Daniel London in the release said achieving goals takes teamwork and creative thinking.
“Our strategic planning identified the hiring of a full-time veterinarian as the linchpin of this effort, which was unachievable under the constraints of our austere budget,” he said. “We presented our plan to stakeholders and concerned citizens who stepped up and provided more than $50,000 in funding for the veterinarian alone. Our appreciation and gratitude is profound.”
Donations for the veterinarian’s salary came from the Friends of the Hardin County Animal Shelter, Pets Are Worth Saving, Mark and Patty Jones of Herb Jones Auto Group and Steve and Nancy Park.
The shelter continues to improve its operations and decrease money from the county’s general fund, the release said.
“This is an outcome of our greater efforts at the shelter,” London said. “This change along with four public-private partnerships we have developed, the shelter revenue is projected to increase from approximately $200,000 in Fiscal Year 2018 to approximately $380,000 in Fiscal year 2020. If achieved as projected, this will decrease taxpayer funding more than $150,000 (30 percent) in two years. This is an accomplishment most local governments can only dream about and is yet another example of our optimization over taxation strategy.”
For information about the Hardin County shelter and ways to adopt or help, go to its Facebook page or its website at https://hcky.org/animal-control-department/ or call 270-769-3428.