A year in review from the Board President and Executive Director
To our fellow stakeholders,
Friends, colleagues, and supporters – thank you. Yes, thank you for your valued friendship to the animals we serve. There is no denying the challenges we have faced over the past two years – as individuals and as a community, as a company and a workplace, and as a movement at large. The challenges have centered around our ability to hire a sufficient number of staff as well as seeing an increase in the number of animals surrendered due to inability of their owners to locate affordable pet care. That said, the pandemic did accelerate some positive changes. Many of the old ways of doing things will not be the ways of the future; changes in community expectations have accelerated our standards of care. At the Humane Society of Elkhart County, we have proved to be resilient in our services to the community.
In every aspect of our work, our overarching goal is the health and safety of the animals in our care. Our own pets and the wildlife we encounter bring us a great amount of joy, and it is no different with the more than 7,200 animals we served in 2021. First, we utilized our veterinary clinic to provide surgeries to more than 5,000 animals – including spay/neuter surgeries, acute veterinary care, and the general wellness of the shelter animals. Second, we began utilizing a program called “Fear Free Shelters”. This is a program, in which all staff and volunteers have been trained, reduces the fear, stress, and anxiety for pets while they are in the shelter. We maintained a 91% live release rate.
Our staff and volunteer team labors tirelessly to provide the best services to our community. In 2021 we began utilizing our animal control team to attempt to return animals to the owners “in-field” by actively searching surrounding neighborhoods and social media sites to return pets to their owners without bringing them to the shelter. We also welcomed the city of Nappanee to our service contract and now provide animal care and control to our entire county.
You will see further in this report that we have been blessed by our community through increased giving of support. Elkhart County is a special place. We feel we have been entrusted with caring for animals by providing compassionate care while educating and advocating on their behalf. We thank you for the trust you have put in us and vow to continue to do our best for our community and for our animals. We could not do it without our many friends and neighbors who continue to support us.
Thank you for always being there with us.
President, Board of Directors