Animal Shelter's "No Kill" Status Renewed

Euthanasia down, adoptions up for both cats and dogs at HAS over past year


The recent controversy over the (HAS) was given some perspective this week when the organization No Kill Sonoma County gave them a letter praising their distinguished status as a No Kill animal shelter for 2010 and 2011, a commendation for their low euthanasia and high adoption rates.

“In 2010 the Shelter had a Live Release Rate of 93%,” read the letter, “and for 2011, as of December 26, 2011, has a Live Release Rate of 95%.”

No Kill Sonoma County is the local chapter of a “No Kill Movement” as supported by the No Kill Advocacy Center, based in Oakland. Their website states “No Kill shelters reject euthanasia for population control and adhere to an ethic that no cat or dog shall be euthanized that is treatable and adoptable or can become adoptable with medical or behavioral treatment.

“We’re very pleased with the results of our efforts,” said HAS director Julie Seal in response. "It shows that hard work, dedication, creativity and a continuous desire to go above and beyond pay off for the homeless animals of our community.”

The letter went on to note that the Healdsburg Animal Shelter saw increased adoption rates for both dogs and cats by significant percentages, and decreased the cat euthanasia from 33 in 2010 to only 13 in 2011. The dog euthanasia rate remained unchanged at 7 dogs, a “remarkable feat given the significant increase in number of dogs through the shelter” in 2011, read the letter.

Seal, who of this year, said she has been “very fortunate to have an amazing staff who jumped on board with every initiative I wanted to implement, and had their own good share of ideas they were willing to see to fruition.”

The No Kill status renewal comes at timely moment for Seal, and the Animal Shelter.  Seals’ leadership has come into question recently over the case of . The dog is now in the care of King’s Kastle, an animal care facility.

Vickie Brown, the founder of No Kill Sonoma County, said she investigated the No Kill status at the request of a community member, and found that HAS was entitled to that status both for 2010 and 2011.

“Healdsburg Animal Shelter is now part of an elite but growing group of No Kill Shelters,” said Brown. “It’s something Sonoma County should be very proud of.”

Joyce Reynolds December 30, 2011 at 03:50 PM
Julie and staff have done an admirable job, way to go HAS! I hope they get the new shelter done right; after all, it will have to last 50 years and once it's done you can't go back and rebuild it. I like her attention to detail and thoroughness in looking toward the future. It was an excellent idea to consult with the Martinez shelter and identify problems. They were in the same position with a crumbling facility before their state of the art shelter was built. For the animals, for the future!
Tom December 30, 2011 at 04:29 PM
So there you have it. Validation of success. So to all of the naysayers, more money than brains, holyer than thous and sue happys, why don't you "chew" on that.
Timothy Fitzpatrick December 30, 2011 at 04:54 PM
Right on Julie!!!
Marie Gewirtz December 30, 2011 at 06:45 PM
This is a wonderful story to read at the end of the year....Julie thank you for your leadership and to all at the HAS thank you for so exquisitely caring for our Healdsburg animals — it's all part of a Healthy Healdsburg....
austin December 30, 2011 at 09:00 PM
Yay, another dog shelter story!
Carol (Kiki) Noack December 30, 2011 at 09:01 PM
The total would be 8 dogs if you add in the one put down yesterday. The percentage is terrific, but I'm curious what it would be if it didn't include all the dogs moved from the county shelter to Healdsburg. Those dogs are hand-selected because they are the most ready to adopt and therefore don't cost the shelter anything to process; in fact the shelter makes a small profit from these dogs. It's great that HAS is finding homes for them quickly, but I would certainly like to see the focus put on the dogs that need it most - those from within the Healdsburg community, which often need more attention and training before they're adoptable. Instead, they are the ones that make up the euthanized population. RIP Missy.
Carrie L Marvin December 31, 2011 at 03:53 AM
I am an animal rescuer and I work with shelters throughout the state of CA. It is my understanding that between 500-800,000 adoptable animals gets euthanized every year. Personally I get about 300 a week in my email box all needing rescue within days. If people had any idea what was really going on in our shelters they would be shocked. Purebred young dogs, pregnant moms and puppies, all getting euth'd daily in our shelters. Healdsburg shelter is by far the best shelter around. Yes, they are not the county shelter required to take in every dog in Sonoma County - but it does afford them the opportunity to pull county dogs that would otherwise be euthanized due to space constraints. They also have volunteers walking the dogs- that doesn't happen in many of the shelters I work with. And Julie has been getting these dogs out into the community to get adopted. Lots of people don't even want to go to the shelters as they find them too depressing. HAS is doing a great job. Healdsburg shelter is the tiniest of places making a small impact. Let's get these dogs out of the 1950's building and into a better place while they are in limbo and take a look at the bigger picture. Some of the shelters I work with have about a 50% euthanasia rate - and we are talking about weekly intake of hundreds of animals. Something interesting to read: www.baycitizen.org/columns/scott-james/animal-euthanasia-rates-vastly-higher/comments/#comments
Lisa Hadley December 31, 2011 at 06:26 AM
Yes, yea for Julie & all the out of town dogs that are being rescued. The 95% live release rate is a County and Bay area rescue rate; not Healdsburg Dogs which appears to be way below. (The No Kill Advocacy Center has a blind eye to where dogs come from as they should, but you within the HEALDSBURG COMMUNITY should not.) Missy was euthanized yesterday, a young Boxer mix who was not allowed the time needed for behavioral training (?) - but of course that messes with the amazing dog adoption numbers. In order to have numbers like Julie has you can't have dogs sitting too long...period. Once upon a time it was truly the HEALDSBURG Animal Shelter, but now? Why don't we just call a spade a spade and rename the Healdsburg Shelter - Wine Country Humane Society like Julie has wanted from the start as Healdsburg was always too small for her "needs". (Remember what she called HAS in the Human Race this past year? Think about it.) Healdsburg dogs are no longer protected by the Board of Directors that once cared about their neighbors strays/homeless animals, and definitely not protected by Julie who has a great need for all of your accolades. So to some of you this is all petty as you believe that since many more dogs are being placed that is what it is all about. BUT THE QUESTION REMAINS - WHAT IS THE RATE FOR THE DOGS OF HEALDSBURG? And as for the cat adoption rate, Natalie Tappin of the Healdsburg Dog House should be given lots of credit for the increased adoption rate.
Carol (Kiki) Noack December 31, 2011 at 09:49 PM
And by the way - 2 people today told me of a rumor that came out of the Hbg shelter that I took the newly euthanized dog's body. Don't have a clue who started this crazy tale, but it's not true, and just plain weird. Let's stick with facts, people.
Osgood Fileding January 09, 2012 at 12:22 AM
Austin, I love ya. As for those who believe this hogwash, I have a time share in Alcatraz I would like to sell you. Wake up and smell the napalm--Lady McSeals is brilliant at distorting the numbers and figures in order to boast her image. This is a piece of PR, kindly brought to you by Healdsburg's Patch, and if the writer/editor comes on board to wag her finger at me about slander after deleting the post, then I will have lost any respect I had left for this news forum.
Carol (Kiki) Noack January 12, 2012 at 05:08 AM
Everyone should be aware that in 2007 the shelter put down 1 dog. In 2008, 1 dog. In 2009, 0. In 2010, when the shelter lost the wonderful Belinda and hired someone who turned out to be a bad fit, 10 dogs died. And in 2011, under the current ED, the number was 8. I do not call this a positive trend.
Carl April 24, 2012 at 04:37 AM
Could we please get this photo of a SEAL off the animal shelter site? Who wants to look at that any longer than we already had to?


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