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Originally published February 17, 2014 at 8:25 PM | Page modified February 19, 2014 at 9:24 PM

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Humane society reports record number of pets saved in 2013

The Humane Society for Seattle/King County says animal adoptions were up in 2013 and the number of pets euthanized was down.

Seattle Times staff reporter

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For the furrier friends in your life, there is good news: The Humane Society for Seattle/King County reports what it calls a record-setting number of saved animals and adoptions in 2013.

Last year, the organization said it “saved” 6,937 animals and recorded 6,403 pet adoptions. The other saved animals were returned to their owners or transferred to other organizations.

These rates are higher than what the organization had seen from 2010 to 2012. In 2012, the organization said it saved 6,044 animals, which included 5,668 adoptions.

The number of animals the society euthanized went down as well.

David Loewe, the society’s CEO, said the improving economy could be inspiring people to get pets.

“The personal future starts to become a little more secure and you start to think about what’s important in your life, and having a companion, four-legged with a wet nose, certainly becomes one of those at the top of the list,” Loewe said.

He said the organization is doing more marketing and new promotions. The number of animals being transferred to the society from other agencies outside of King County is growing as well. These kinds of facilities transferred 2,484 animals to the organization in 2012. Last year, the number jumped to 3,273.

Amanda Walde, a marketing and media-relations associate for the humane society, wrote in an email that last year they “transferred animals in from Eastern Washington, California, and Hawaii.”

For Loewe, one key to saving more pets is getting more adoptions completed.

“Well, you have to have adoptions to save more,” Loewe said. “So, I mean, that’s the ultimate prize, if you will. By adopting more animals it opens up more space and allows us to take in more animals.”

The Seattle Animal Shelter had a good year as well, according to Don Jordan, the shelter’s director. He said the city of Seattle agency saw a 93 percent save rate in 2013. As someone who has worked for the shelter for more than 20 years, he said he believes this is the best rate it has seen.

The shelter’s save rate, Jordan said, covers animals that are adopted, taken back to their original owners or transferred to other agencies.

But according to figures from the Seattle Animal Shelter, at least since 2009, as the agency’s save rate has gone up, the number of adopted animals has gone down.

In 2009, the agency had a save rate of 82.3 percent and had 2,680 animals adopted. But in 2013, it saw 1,889 animals adopted.

Kara Main-Hester, the manager of volunteer programs and fundraising at the shelter, said this can be attributed to the fact that fewer animals are coming through the shelter’s doors. Some reasons for this, she said, are more spaying and neutering and a culture of “responsible ownership” in the area.

For the shelter, the number of euthanized pets is also going down, with 313 euthanized in 2013 compared with 480 in 2010.

The humane society is also seeing a decrease, with 154 animals euthanized in 2013, compared to 164 in 2012 and 254 in 2011.

Shoanette and Greg Harper recently fell in love with a puppy from the humane society.

The Kirkland couple moved to Washington from Texas a few months ago, and Shoanette Harper said the pet was “kind of a thing for us to be able to start a family even though I’m not pregnant yet.”

The puppy was also a new beginning for the couple, who lost a cat recently.

“We actually used to have a cat, and she passed away; she was 20 years old,” Shoanette Harper said. “And we’ve always loved animals, always, and so we thought we’re not quite ready to do the cat thing again, she was like a kid to us, so we thought we would try a puppy this time.”

Asked if she thought they would keep the puppy, Shoa­nette Harper said, “I think she’s already kept us.”

“Yeah, she chose us,” Greg agreed.

Safiya Merchant: 206-464-2299 or smerchant@seattletimes.com


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