From 120,000 Deaths to 91% Saves, No-Kill Efforts Working…

From 120,000 Deaths to 91% Saves, No-Kill Efforts Working in Animal Shelters

(Michigan Pet Fund Alliance, Jan. 17, 2021)

Bloomfield Hills, Michigan – Michigan Pet Fund Alliance (MPFA) announces a collective 91% live release rate among Michigan animal shelters in 2019, a significant increase from when tracking efforts began in 2009.

“We would like to give a special shout out to three animal shelters that accomplished tremendous improvements,” said Deborah Schutt, MPFA founder and chairperson. “Lake County Animal Control improved by 62%, Cass County Animal Control by 58%, and Alcona Humane Society by 56%. Great work!”

Shelters in Oakland County collectively reached over 90% live release rate, with several organizations reaching 98% or higher, including Animal Welfare Society of SE Michigan, Berkley Public Safety, City of Oak Park, Royal Oak Animal Shelter, Madison Heights Animal Shelter, Canine Companions Rescue Center, New Beginnings Animal Rescue, Hazel Park Animal Control, Ferndale CatFe, and K-9 Stray Rescue League.

Bloomfield Township Animal Welfare was at 96%, as was Gasgow Veterinary Hospital. Michigan Humane Society in Rochester was at 91%. Michigan Animal Rescue League was at 87%. Oakland County Animal Control and Pet Adoption Center was at 85%.

In addition to the increased statewide live release rate, the statistics also show:

~With more lifesaving being accomplished, euthanasia was down again for the eighth year straight by 1,402 animals.

~Transfers to other shelters and rescue groups increased significantly to 16,869 animals in 2019, an increase of more than a 3,000 from 2018.

~After seven years of decreasing intake, the last two years have seen an increase. Michigan’s lowest intake was 128,869 animals in 2017, which increased to 146,684 in 2019.

~The raw numbers indicate that dog intake (77,422) is higher than cat intake (73,321), but shelter dog euthanasia is lower (5,609) than cat (6,085).

“Our first live release report in 2009 showed more than 120,000 dogs and cats lost their lives,” said Schutt. “Thanks to the relentless dedication of animal welfare advocates throughout the state and beyond to save cats and dogs in Michigan, that number has been reduced to 11,694. We are extremely proud of this progress, but we know our work is not done.”

To continue this lifesaving momentum and achieve even greater improvements, MPFA will be transitioning to a membership organization. Look for further information to come in the new year.

To view the MPFA Live Release Reports and Live Release Maps by County, please visit:

Live Release Reports


Michigan Pet Fund Alliance is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization advocating nationally recognized best practices that save lives and stop the killing of healthy and treatable homeless cats and dogs in Michigan shelters. MPFA provides lifesaving grants, mentoring, educational opportunities, networking, and other support to shelters and rescues. For more information, please visit


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