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Humane Tales

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2021 In Review

aerial view of our facility

Dear Humane Society of Utah Family,

For 61 years, the Humane Society of Utah has served as a vital resource for the animals of Utah and beyond. Two things have held consistent in that time: our focus and change. We remain as focused as ever to provide the best life possible for the animals we share our lives with, but how we do that is always progressing. With regularity, we ask ourselves “what’s next?” Staying on the forefront of best practices, we implement new programs to save lives like we never have before to produce the best outcomes for all animals, both in our pet resource center and in the communities we serve.

Despite the many challenges of the ongoing pandemic, this past year has been one filled with success, growth, and forward momentum for the Humane Society of Utah.

6,282 animals were adopted in 2021 who are now in loving homes and 6,282 families are now happier and more complete. Keep in mind, each of these adoptions and placements represents a life – a life positively transformed by you, our HSU family of supporters.

Adoptions don’t just come about when a loving family picks out an ideal animal companion and signs an adoption contract. Adoptions come about because people know when they are no longer able to care for an animal, HSU will. They come about because we are able to give animals excellent veterinary care right when they come through our doors, and because we are able to give them love, food, and a safe space. Adoptions come about because our foster volunteers give those in need a little extra help and the time they need to grow or heal. Adoptions come about because our animal behavior team develops specific training plans for those needing a little refinement. They come about because our transport team rescues animals from overcrowded shelters near and far. Adoptions come about because you donate enrichment toys to keep them busy and blankets to keep them warm and comfy. They come about because you, our supporters, share their photos and stories on social media. They come about when someone chooses adoption and space frees up for the next animal. Adoptions come about because of amazing people including a dedicated staff, incredible volunteers, generous donors, and a supportive community. Adoptions come about because of you! Together, we were able to make all of this come about, 6,282 times, just last year.

Families in crisis sometimes feel they must resort to surrendering the pets they love and care for because they don’t know where to turn for temporary assistance with pet food, veterinary care, or behavior modification assistance. The Humane Society of Utah is focused on keeping pets in their current home, if there is a reasonable way to do so. Helping to keep animals in good homes is essential to reducing the homeless animal population. In 2021, we helped 1,464 pets avoid becoming homeless in the first place through our pet retention program and other resources.

Despite the challenges of COVID, using both in-person and virtual lessons, our amazing humane education team finished 2021 with 10,267 children taught about humane practices and compassion. We are very excited to have received a $100,000 grant from the Toscano Family to expand our humane education program. This grant funding gives us the opportunity to develop lessons for both junior and senior high school students reaching even more children than ever before.

Helping pet owners to spay or neuter their animals at no or low-cost also helps keep animals out of shelters by reducing the number of unwanted litters. In 2021, we sterilized 12,643 animals at our veterinary centers and sterilized 457 feral cats through our CATNIP Community Cat Trap-Neuter-Return (TNR) program.

When families are separated, we want to get them reunited. So, we microchipped 4,635 animals in 2021, which means 4,635 animals have an easy road home if they are ever lost!

Some animals who come into our care require a little extra time and care before they’re ready to be adopted into loving homes. Sometimes they’re not old enough to be adopted, sometimes they’re recovering from injury, sometimes they need extra socialization, and oftentimes they have an illness, such as kennel cough. That’s where our amazing foster caregivers jump into action. These loving volunteers provide short-term care for our animals until they’re ready to be adopted.

In 2021, 1,560 animals benefited from a short-term stay in 498 foster homes across the Salt Lake City area. That’s 1,560 more lives saved, thanks to the compassionate caregivers who were willing to open their homes and hearts to animals in need.

Collectively, our volunteers donated more than 11,740 hours of service last year alone. Our volunteers go above and beyond every day for the animals in our care. That is 11,740 hours ensuring dogs are walked, cats are cuddled, animals are photographed for the website, and our adoption and fundraising events are operating smoothly. The simple fact is, HSU could not exist without our volunteers!

While HSU works to save lives in Utah and beyond, we have always stressed that the job ahead of us is too big for any one organization. This is why we feel it is important to foster a cooperative animal welfare community. HSU works with hundreds of rescue groups and animal shelters to advocate for better animal-friendly laws and policies and to transfer animals into our facilities when other organizations need assistance. This year we took in 1,562 animals from other organizations, of which, 442 came in from out of state.

2021 was the first year of operations for our St. George clinic. In 2021, we worked with 17 shelters and rescue groups in Washington County and the general public to spay/neuter 3,265 animals. We also purchased a great piece of land for the future home of the Humane Society of Utah’s St. George Pet Resource Center.

We are committed to using the incredible successes of the past year as a foundation to even greater things this year. But to do this, we need your help. Whether you can adopt, foster, donate, volunteer, advocate, or all of the above – we greatly appreciate you being part of the HSU family. Together, we were able to positively impact the animals and people of Utah and beyond – and we are resolved in our ability to make your continued support go even further in 2022 and save more lives!

Humanely Yours,

Save Lives Today