Thursday, January 12, 2012


San Bernardino County is one of the poorest counties in the country and the poorest in California. Since 2006, the unemployment rate has risen from 4.8% in 2006 to a whopping 14.3% in 2010.

Just from the above information, one can easily see the uphill battle for SBACC and Devore. People who are poor don't adopt from shelters, they just go next door for a free puppy or kitten. People who have lost their jobs, their homes, aren't going to adopt. They are surrendering their pets instead.

Let's look at some figures now. In 1999, the number of dogs impounded by SBACC was 10,617. If you use the increase in people population of 19.1%, one would expect dog impounds to rise over the past 10 years. But the number of dog impounds for 2010 were less at 9,373. Cats are a slightly different story. The number of impounded cats in 1999 were 4,852 and in 2011 fiscal year the number had risen to 5,963. This does fall in line with the people population growth.

Adoptions of dogs from 1999 fell at 10% but have risen to 48% since. Return to owner rates for dogs have always been good but cats don't fair as well. Most shelters that I check on have a less than 2% return to owner rate for cats. Devore is now offering free microchips to those who adopt in hopes of improving the return to owner rate.

Along with all of this is the influence of the national award winning spay/neuter voucher program. Most people don't know that SBACC's program has been copied in other areas. The program started in 2001 and it is obvious from the above figures that it has worked beautifully. Dogs fair better than cats because of licensing. Canvassing helps to educate pet owners as well as bringing in monies. Cats are not licensed, and thus we see they will continue to be a problem.

The SBACC spay/neuter voucher program was recognized by the National Association of Counties as a wonderful effort between government and the private sector.
This award winning program has continued since 2001 without any cuts and continues to serve the citizens of San Bernardino County regardless of income. You can thank our highly informed Board of Supervisors for recognizing a success when they see one.

If you compare these stats to those of other shelters in California, Devore looks pretty darn good. Add in the population factors and Devore is very close to the top of the list of shelters with positive outcomes who serve low income communities.


  1. Whoa, had not thought in those terms before. You're right, Devore would have a difficult time with those factors. Guess I will have to change my mind. Thanks for the insight.

  2. This is just another example as to why people and organizations must work together to help address pet over-population. Even if one shelter ambarks on a No-Kill model of sheltering, it only results in other shelters killing even more animals. Remember Devore is only one of fourteen shelters that serve San Bernardino County. To truly reduce euthanasia, all shelters and rescue groups should work together to reduce the number of animals euthanized.

  3. I agree Anon:33. When Rancho went "No Kill" the other shelters were getting Rancho citizens who were turned away from surrendering their own pets. This resulted in a whopping rate of "public" surrenders. Public surrenders was, before "No Kill", when a nice person picked a pet off the streets and brought it to the shelter. But with "No Kill" and Rancho doing all they could to discourage owners from surrendering, the owners turned around and surrender their own pets as strays. Leaving those pets already abandoned, without their names and no history, was the result.


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