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Shelter Alliance a great success for the animals Daniela Iancu • Spot Magazine

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n 2006, despite valiant efforts by Portland-area rescue organizations, 39% of animals entering local shelters that year were euthanized. That same year, representatives from 10 local animal organizations created ASAP, the Animal Shelter Alliance of Portland. A decade later, shelter intake has dropped 30%, and the live release rate is at an astonishing 94%. ASAP — which handles 90% of shelter animals in a four-county area of 2 million citizens — is based on collaboration. The coalition’s Guiding Principles state: “We recognize that all stakeholders in the animal welfare community have a passion for and are dedicated to saving animals’ lives. We are committed to the belief that . . . we need one another, and that the only true solution is to work together.”

“What I like about Spay and Save is knowing the reasonable cost makes it possible for responsible people to take care of their animals and prevent the birth of animals who would not have the chance of a loving home.” — S&S volunteer Collaboration of this scale signaled a cultural shift. Multnomah County Animal Services Shelter Manager Ann Potter says, “Collaboration takes a ‘shelter’ problem and makes it a community problem. Each partner in the coalition has strengths they can share, and weaknesses that other agencies can help bolster.” Two years in, the coalition invited community input on terms like “adoptable,” “healthy,” and “treatable” to help standardize definitions for recordkeeping and grant applications. A grant from Maddie’s Fund enabled the group to collect and analyze shelter data that revealed that the greatest impact on saving lives would be made by helping cats, who had a 49% live release rate at that time. ASAP determined it would need to spay/neuter an additional 10,000 cats annually to significantly and sustainably decrease the number of cats entering local shelters. To achieve this, Spay & Save was formed — a program primarily funded by PetSmart Charities — providing subsidized

14 Spot Magazine | December 2016 / January 2017

Spot Magazine - December 2016 / January 2017  

In this issue: Angels with Misplaced Wings find their forever home, Shelter Alliance - success for animals, Hello, Sunshine! 2016 Cover Mod...

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