Extending the Rule of 3’s: Lolly’s 3-Year Gotcha Day

Lolly, a dark brindle dog with a white stripe up her nose, poses on a white backdrop while wearing a white banana.

Here at the Humane Society of Utah, we love to tell adopters about the rule of 3’s. The rule of 3’s gives adopters an idea of what to expect when bringing home a new furry friend. 

The first 3 days allow the pet to decompress in a new environment. The first 3 weeks are for bonding and creating a routine, and the first 3 months help you solidify this routine and understand your pet more. Keeping the rule of 3’s in mind can help set you and your pet up for a happy life together. However, we often don’t discuss what happens after a pet has settled in and truly becomes part of the family. That’s why we decided to check in on Lolly and her owner Kev to discuss how Lolly is doing 3 years post-adoption.

Lolly Finds a Home

In 2019 a lovely dog named Chess came into our care. Kev knew he wanted a dog and often checked the Humane Society of Utah website. When he saw her picture, he immediately fell in love! Kev says that he got in his car, drove to our Pet Resource Center, and told the adoption counselor, “That’s my dog!” Our adoption counselor recommended they meet and go for a walk, but Kev knew that Chess was the dog for him. Sure enough, when they met, it was love at first sight! “We went out into the yard, and I introduced myself to her… she responded with a kiss. Her smile just really captures your heart because it quite literally lights up the room,” Kev remembers of their first meeting. As you can guess, Kev adopted Chess and changed her name to Lolly.

Lolly, a dark brindle dog with a white stripe up her nose, wears a bunny ears headband while looking up at the camera.

Lolly Becomes Family

Throughout the years Lolly has truly become a member of Kev’s family. Lolly has really found love in many things, specifically going on walks. “You could take her on a 20 mile walk and be home for five minutes, but if you pick up her leash again, she will undoubtedly get just as excited to go back out.” Kev reports that Lolly is also a big fan of toys and food, so if you combine those with going on a walk, Lolly is in heaven! Over the three years (and counting!) Lolly has been home with Kev. He says that she has added adventure to his life. “I love Lolly’s sense of adventure and adaptability. She is not scared of a hike, she is not afraid to go for a walk in the snow, and she is okay with a night in.” Kev also said that Lolly has made him a “happier and patient person” and that she has taught him so much about life. It’s clear that Kev and Lolly were meant to find each other!

Lolly, a dark brindle dog with a white stripe up her nose, sits in her owner Kev's lap on the ground both have smiling faces.

Thinking Long Term

We love hearing stories like Kev and Lolly’s! If you’ve adopted from the Humane Society and want to share an update on your pet, you can join this Facebook page. Although life can sometimes be stressful when you are a new adopter, the rule of 3’s and thinking long-term can help immensely with the transition. We truly believe that pets add many aspects to life, and that’s why our adoption counselors work so hard to help match you with the right pet. In addition, our Behavior team is always happy to help give advice post-adoption. 

When asked what advice he would give to potential adopters, Kev said, “Go play with some animals! Animals have their own personalities and have such unique forms of love. There is truly an animal for everyone.” If you’re considering adoption, you can view our adoptable pets on our website or call (801) 261-2919 ext. 227 with any questions. 

Gary’s Journey: Looks Aren’t Everything

Gary, a three-year-old American Bulldog weighing nearly 100 pounds, arrived at our Pet Resource Center in Murray in early July with gnarly scratches on his face and his tail between his legs. This droopy-faced pup had been attacked repeatedly by two dogs in his previous home and was injured as a result. But, according to his previous owners, Gary didn’t have an aggressive bone in his body and never once fought back. They called him their “gentle giant” and described him as a dog who loved cuddling with the family cat and greeting other pups on walks with an exuberant tail wag. Gary proved looks aren’t everything.

Gary a large white dog with a black nose and scars on his face wearing a purple and white bowtie collar, stands against a grey backdrop with colorful paper flowers.

Gary’s Journey

But, despite Gary’s friendly demeanor, he would have a hard time at our center getting anyone to give him a second look, let alone a second chance. He was too big and too energetic, and of course, the jagged marks on his face didn’t help. 

HSU’s Corporate Giving and Communications Manager, Shannon Egan, closely watched Gary’s journey at our center. “Potential adopters would see how big he was and then notice the wounds on his face and assume the worst,” she shared. “They’d carefully move past his kennel as if they were afraid of him.”

As the weeks went by, Gary rarely had a visitor. At HSU, we know it’s essential to consider one’s lifestyle before adopting so you can choose a pet that will fit in nicely. However, it’s also important to take notice of any indiscretions we may show in the unfair judging of pets based solely on the way they appear. “If potential adopters had taken the time to get to know Gary, they’d have found he is house-trained, knows all kinds of tricks, and is a very good boy!” Shannon explained. 

Gary a large white dog with a black nose and scars on his face sits in the grass looking up at the camera smiling.

Gary Becomes a Staff and Volunteer Favorite

After nearly a month at our shelter, Gary’s wounds turned to scars, and he passed the time by interacting with other dogs in playgroups and going on walks with our staff and volunteers. Our team fell in love with him and promoted him on social media to better his chances of finding a home. Finally, on July 28th, a potential adopter named Cade stopped by to visit him. Before the visit, Cade had taken the time to research Gary’s breed so he knew what it would entail to give him the best possible life. That day, Cade and Gary spent quality time in our outdoor play yard, and then they went home together. 

Gary’s journey reminds us of the common misconception that shelter animals are surrendered due to behavioral issues, illnesses, or for being high maintenance. But like Gary, so many homeless pets end up in shelters for no fault of their own. People surrender their pets for various reasons: they’re experiencing financial issues, the passing of a loved one, or they’re blending into a new family, and pets don’t get along with each other. 

Shannon explained, “Most pets who come to us have a proven track record of being great companions, just like Gary. We advise potential adopters to keep an open mind and heart when meeting all animals in shelters. These pets have lost their families and homes and are now in a stressful new environment. Go easy on them. Give them the patience and understanding they deserve.” 

A One-Eyed Hedgehog Takes Home the Gold

Stanley the one-eyed hedgehog peers out of his red and black fleece tunnel.

Stanley is a bashful, young, and energetic hedgehog with only one eye. Yet despite his newfound disability, he is determined to win the Hedgehog Olympics one day. Stanley prepares for his victory by running vigorously on his exercise wheel all night long and bolting around his new home at lightning speed. He is, by all means, a hedgehog with one eye on the prize. But this doesn’t mean his disability hasn’t come with some challenges and setbacks.

Stanley’s Eye Needed Help

When Stanley came to our Pet Resource Center in Murray, his eye was horribly infected. A cat had attacked him, and his guardians couldn’t afford to take him to the vet. After an urgent assessment, our medical team discovered that Stanley’s eye needed to be removed immediately. So, we rushed him to our partner, Mountain West Veterinary Specialists, an organization specializing in exotic pets, for emergency surgery.  

Fortunately, Stanley’s surgery went well, but he had a tough road ahead. He required antibiotics, a quiet and safe place to heal, and careful oversight of his sutures. Because of this, our staff was overly cautious about his adoption process. Our team wanted to ensure Stanley fully recovered and didn’t go to another home with pets where he could potentially be injured again. So, he went into our Foster Program under the care of our Humane Education Director, Caitlin Lisle, who is skilled with hedgehogs and could appropriately screen adopters to ensure he went to the best home possible. 

Stanley the one-eyed hedgehog rests next to his human.

Fostering a Hedgehog

Caitlin fostered Stanley for eight weeks, and during that time, he retreated from human contact and acted like he was in pain. Caitlin shared, “He seemed to not only be in pain from his injury but traumatized, too. I wanted to help him feel safe around humans, so I spent a lot of time holding him and hanging out with him. I went slow with this process, so he wasn’t overwhelmed.”

With Caitlin’s support, Stanley recovered quickly. She continued to screen potential adopters for him but still hadn’t found the right person who could meet all of his needs. “A lot of people want to adopt a hedgehog because they think they’re cool or unique. But we have to make sure potential adopters have done their research and know what type of care they require. Hedgehogs have a lot of special needs and require a lot of patience because it takes time for them to warm up to you,” Caitlin informed. 

Finding the Perfect Match

Then, Samantha, a woman from Idaho, reached out to adopt Stanley. Samantha had lost her hedgehog one year previously due to old age and was ready to rescue another. She’d seen Stanley’s too-cute photo and bio on our social media and was head over heels for this one-eyed, shy guy who needed a safe home and loved running, snacking, and burrowing. Since Samantha had extensive experience with hedgehogs and no other pets in her home, she knew they were meant to be. After successfully going through our adoption process, Samantha made the six-hour trek from Idaho to bring Stanley home. 

Stanley the one-eyed hedgehog sleeps on bed tucked under a blanket next to his new owner.

Those first few days with Samantha were difficult for Stanley. He spent most of his time hiding fearfully in the corner of his cage and refusing treats. Finally, Samantha explained, “He wouldn’t even eat a worm from my hand. But over time, he started to become curious and open up.” Fast forward several months, and Stanley is now thriving. He no longer hesitates to munch on a worm from Samantha’s hand or falls asleep in her arms. And his fearful behaviors are practically non-existent. 

“He’s the best boy, just perfect!” Samantha shared. “I am so proud of him; he’s come so far and is getting more curious and adventurous with each passing day. He seems very happy and comfortable with us and is full of sweet little chirps when exploring the house or climbing all over us. He’s quite the runner and determined climber, hah! My little Olympian who is forever determined to take home the gold.”

Samantha continues to update Caitlin on Stanley’s progress, and these updates bring tears to Caitlin’s eyes. “I love hearing that Stanley is finally coming out of his shell. And it makes me so happy to know that I helped bring the two of them together.” 

Feeling PAW-triatic? Firework Safety Tips for Pets

Firework season can be a scary time for pets. Keep your pets safe by following these tips.

  • Exercise your pet on the morning of the holidays when you think there may be fireworks
    • This will get extra anxiety out and calm your pet down before the night begins
  • Keep pets inside and away from loud noises 
    • It’s a good idea to create a safe space where pets feel secure inside the house. Use an inner room away from windows or a crate filled with your pet’s favorite toys and bedding. Keep a light or two on and consider turning the TV or radio on for some calming background noise. If your pet hides somewhere in this safe space, allow them to do so. Do not try to coax them out, as hiding is a natural coping mechanism for animals. Make sure pets always have fresh water available
  • Leave your pets home while venturing out to loud and crowded places
    • Fido and Fluffy don’t want to go with you to your local fireworks display! Again, make sure they have a safe place to stay while you’re out
  • Pets may be tempted to run if startled by loud noises. Ensure that outdoor areas are securely fenced and your pets cannot get out of your yard
    • In case of an escape, have microchips and valid ID tags on all of your pets and make sure information is current and accurate
    • If your pet escapes during the firework show contact your local animal shelter, post online or on social media lost and found pages
  • Check with your veterinarian for additional help
    • For especially anxious pets, they may suggest a snug t-shirt to make your pet feel secure or prescribe medication to use during the holidays. If your pet is prescribed a medication, never share this with other pets or give your animal more than the recommended dose
  • Be aware that anxiety may last longer than the fireworks display
    • If your pet still seems on edge after the fireworks are over or even the next morning, continue to keep them inside and surrounded by calming things, such as their favorite treats or toys. Make sure that you’ve cleaned up any party debris before allowing your pet free reign of the yard again

5th Annual Bark at the Moon Dog-Friendly Event Returns to The Gateway

Contact: Guinn Shuster

Email: [email protected]


Date: May 20, 2022

Media Alert 

5th annual Bark at the Moon dog-friendly event returns to The Gateway on May 21, 2022 

Salt Lake City — Utah, May 21, 2022 Join us this Saturday from 4-8 p.m. for a family fun event that will raise funds to support the lifesaving programs at the Humane Society of Utah (HSU). The fundraiser is Presented by Mountain West Veterinary Specialist and supported by Fuzzy, Subaru USA, and The Arrow. Ticket prices begin at $20 and include admission to the festival. Dogs must be six months of age or older, up to date on vaccinations, and socialized with other dogs and people. 

“This is a fun community event to raise money for our homeless companion animals,” said Kaya Nielsen, HSU event manager. “We’re excited to return to The Gateway this year and grateful to the participating businesses for their support that allows us to bring people and pets together.”

The fundraising event will feature over 35 local vendors, food trucks, craft beer, live music, a splash zone for the dogs, a food truck for the dogs, Instagram-worthy photo opportunities, and more. 

“We are excited to be a part of Bark at the Moon and support the Humane Society of Utah with all the wonderful work they do for homeless pets in Utah,” said Kirsten Gull, Mountain West Veterinary Specialists spokesperson. “We are so glad to be part of this great community and love to be able to give back and support our local shelters, rescues, nonprofit organizations, and educational programs.

At 8 p.m., pets and people can participate in a group stroll around The Gateway.

Rule of 3’s

3 days, 3 Weeks, and 3 Months

Bringing home a furry new family member can be one of the best days ever!  But transitioning to a new home is often one of the most stressful times in an animal’s life.

To help make this transition as smooth as possible, it can help to break it down to 3 days, 3 weeks, and 3 months.

First 3 Days

The first 3 days should be set aside for your dog or cat to decompress. It’s exciting to bring home a new family member and it can be easy to accidentally overwhelm them! Prepare a quiet place ahead of time where the dog or cat can relax and find their bearings. This space should be a safe place for them to rest and a place where they will not get into trouble when unsupervised. This might mean setting up a small room or bathroom for your cat as they can panic when given too much space too soon.  You might use a baby gate or exercise pen to create a safety zone for your new dog set up with food, water, and a soft place to rest. This can help cut down on accidents or chewed on household items while your new dog is adjusting to a new routine.

cat at the feet of a person

Follow your new pet’s lead and keep your interactions short at first. Give them plenty of chances to rest and decompress. You should avoid any unnecessary interactions that they may not be prepared to handle. A trip to the dog park or the pet store may cause a meltdown! Family members may want to visit right away, but this can be overwhelming. Save these visits for a few weeks down the road when you have had a chance to grow your relationship with your new pet.

First 3 Weeks

Over the next few weeks, you will start to see your new pet’s personality begin to emerge. Creating a consistent schedule with plenty of opportunities for you to reward your pet will help grow this new bond. This is a good time to start to establish a routine with meal times, regular potty breaks, exercise, and enrichment. This is also the time you will want to slowly integrate your new pet with other animals and children in the home. Any introductions should be done using short sessions and an adult should actively supervise all interactions.

Start to engage them with new toys and different activities to see what keeps them engaged and can burn their extra energy. This is also a great time to begin teaching some foundational skills using reward-based training. Cats love reinforcement too! So figure out what toys or treats they like. Use them to reward them for behaviors you want to see. 

Three Months

The next few months will be a chance to identify what routines work for you and your new pet. You should start to notice how much exercise they need and which activities they enjoy. Once they seem relaxed and comfortable with your routine at home, this is a great time to slowly start to integrate new activities like a trip to the park or introductions to family and friends.

Dog kissing a lady

This might also be the time that you start to notice some less desirable behaviors. Most of the time, you can work this through together with support from a behavior expert or veterinarian.

Remember that your new pet is doing their best, but they may not understand what you’re expecting of them. Keep in mind that their behavior may be species-appropriate or age-appropriate even if it’s not ideal for us. We can suggest more desirable outlets for those behaviors. Our behavior staff is happy to assess the situation and send you resources to help you and your pet. You can contact our behavior department for support.

$5,000 reward offered for Utah puppy thrown from a car window

Contact: Guinn Shuster                         
Email: [email protected]

May 17, 2022

News Release
$5,000 reward offered for Utah puppy thrown from a car window

Murray – Utah, May 17, 2022 — Humane Society of Utah offers a $5,000 reward for information leading to arrest and conviction in Malin’s case. According to Kevin Hansen of the South Salt Lake Animal Services, a bystander saw a 2-month-old puppy thrown from a moving car at 3300 S 300 W on Friday, May 13, 2022. South Salt Lake Animal Services named the critically injured puppy “Malin,” who is now receiving medical attention for two broken legs, two fractured ribs, and a punctured lung.

The Humane Society of Utah’s advocacy director, Rachel Heatley, praised South Salt Lake Animal Services’ response. “South Salt Lake Animal Services handled Malin’s injuries with urgency and deep compassion, ensuring Malin received the treatment she needed,” she said. “We only hope this reward will help bring the perpetrators of this cruelty to justice.”   

Malin is currently in the care of South Salt Lake Animal Services and will be brought into a foster home to help her heal this evening. The Humane Society of Utah is grateful for the tireless efforts of animal control officers in helping animals like Malin and caring for animals in our community. 

The Humane Society of Utah urges anyone with information regarding who injured Malin to contact the South Salt Lake Animal Service’s Office dispatch at 801-840-4000. Any tipster can choose to remain anonymous.

Bea’s Story: A Dying Dog’s Happy, Last Days

Senior fospice dog Bea with a white face and jeweled collar sits in living room with plants behind her.

Beatrice, or Bea, for short, was 14-years old when she returned to the Humane Society of Utah’s Pet Resource Center in Murray. Her caregivers had adopted her from us years ago but needed to bring her back because they were moving to a place that didn’t accept bully breeds. Bea also had two large masses on her side, one of which was bleeding. This is usually a sign of cancer, and unfortunately, her family couldn’t afford the vet bills to care for her failing health.

After Bea’s masses were surgically removed and biopsied by our shelter veterinarian, she was diagnosed with cancer and given just 2-4 months to live. During her recovery, she took a turn for the worse and refused to eat, drink or even move. Anjela Sullenger, HSU’s Behavior and Training Manager, didn’t want Bea to spend her last days in the shelter, so she took her home to foster her. 

“She was in so much pain, so I didn’t expect her to live longer than a week,” Anjela explained. “But then she started to settle in at my house, and she fell in love with my younger dog, Archie, who is really affectionate. They would bounce on the couch together and play. It was so cute.”

Fospice Dog On Borrowed Time

Bea slowly began to regain her strength and her appetite. Suddenly, she wanted treats, lots of treats! Knowing that Bea was terminally ill and on borrowed time, Anjela let her have as many goodies as her precious heart desired. She also ensured Bea had access to the coziest of dog beds and blankets. But Bea’s favorite spot to sleep was in Angela’s bed.

“She was very mucousy, and I didn’t want her slobber on my nice comforter, but she insisted on being under the covers right next to me.” So Angela let her stay, and they cuddled together all night long.

During the day, Bea would follow Anjela wherever she went, including the bathroom. There, she’d park herself on the bathmat to watch Anjela get ready for the day. “My favorite memory of Bea is of her waiting at the door with my other dogs for me to get home. When she saw me coming, she’d tap her feet, spin around and then kiss me on the face. It was wonderful seeing her so happy and having such a wonderful time despite her illness.”

Saying Good-Bye

After a little over a month together, Anjela discovered a new tumor attached to Bea’s abdominal wall, and within one week, it had tripled in size. At this time, Bea’s cognitive abilities began to decline. With her quality of life quickly deteriorating, Anjela knew it was time to say goodbye. On Bea’s last day of life, Anjela spoiled her with her favorite canned dog food and her very own sushi donut. “She LOVED it and was so excited to have the whole thing to herself.”  

When it was time for Bea to be euthanized, Angela held her in her arms as an HSU staff member administered the medication. Our humane euthanasia is a rapid and painless procedure, so Bea passed away peacefully and within less than 20 seconds. “It was hard to see her go, of course, but I absolutely did not want her to suffer anymore just because I enjoyed having her around. As her caretaker, it was my responsibility to help her avoid any pain or fear, and helping her to peacefully transition was an important way for me to show love for her.”

Fostering Compassion

At HSU, we’re always looking for fosters who can provide less traditional care for animals in need, like Bea. Terminally ill pets typically require more maintenance than we can provide at the shelter, and since their quality of life can improve while in a home, fospice care is really important for these dying pets. Unfortunately, it’s not easy to find people to support them. The main reason for this is the belief that the time commitment will be too much. However, these animals are so sick that they mostly require medication, cuddles, and sleep. In fact, terminally ill animals are often easier to care for than our younger foster pets. To make the process easier on individuals willing to foster, HSU provides for their medication, food, treats, toys, blankets, and vet care. 

Angela shared, “We hope more individuals and families will consider opening up their hearts and homes to these pets so they can live out their last days knowing how loved they are. Bea is a perfect example of this. She was so happy and full of life during her last month with me, and she had a warm, safe place to call home. Her last days were not scary or confusing for her, and this is what makes the experience worthwhile.”

What’s in a name? Pet Resource Center

Pet resource center in murray
Front entrance view to the Pet Resource Center at the Humane Society of Utah.

You may have (or may not) have noticed that we no longer refer to ourselves as an “animal shelter” in our recent communications and are now calling ourselves a “Pet Resource Center.” In this three-part blog series, we’ll explain why.

In the last few years, the “Pet Resource Center” model has become widely adopted by animal welfare leaders across the country to improve upon the traditional animal sheltering approach. The term resource center comes from human welfare services and describes the way they provide a safety net beyond sheltering to those experiencing homelessness or in danger of becoming homeless. This radical new shift allows for organizations like ours to focus additional efforts on supporting pet guardians in various ways, so we can, in turn, help the companion animals in our communities. 

By adopting this model at the Humane Society of Utah, we can increase our capacity to care and support struggling pet guardians to help “keep pets and people together,” as our mission states. For example, we understand that the previous two years have been challenging for many. Our community members have been affected by housing insecurities, cost of living increases, supply chain, and veterinary shortages. These challenges have made owning a beloved companion animal more difficult. In response, we’ve worked hard to support guardians affected by the pandemic through the various programs we offer at our Pet Resource Center:

Community Clinic

By providing affordable spay/neuter and vaccines services through our two Preventative Care Clinics located in St. George and Murray, our organization was able to help over 144,000 community-owned pets stay healthy in 2021. Our clinics stayed open year-round to provide 12,643 spay/neuter surgeries to help prevent the pet overpopulation problem and administered 143,904 vaccines to help stop the spread of deadly viruses.

Pet Retention Program

Our Pet Retention program aims to keep pets and owners together, when possible, by providing resources to help owners who are experiencing difficulty but wish to keep their companion animals. By supporting our community members this way, we’re also helping keep pets out of the sheltering system. In 2021, our Pet Retention program served 487 medical cases for community-owned pets. In addition, we sponsored the first free vaccination and microchip clinic in Tooele County, providing 171 cats and dogs with free preventative care.

Community Partnerships

Our Pet Resource Center also connects community members with resources to help them keep their beloved pets through partnerships with organizations like Ruff Haven Crisis Sheltering. We are currently working with organizations such as The Road Home and the YWCA to provide resources, such as vaccines and general pet care supplies. Developing partnerships is one of the key ways we ensure both people and their pets get what they need and stay together.

Join us for the second part of this blog series next month as we discuss the importance of education. And the educational resources our Pet Resource Center provides through our Behavior and Humane Education departments.

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,