In the article below, HSAR is identified as being at number 48 in the Save Rate Statistics Report. This is incorrect. They are listed at number 61 out of 90 shelters in their category. This is compared to their being number 136, in 2011, out of 136 shelters reporting. The format of the 2012 report is different from 2011. The current report differentiates between "open admission" and "limited admission" shelters, while the 2011 report combined them into one list. Regardless, it is still a very nice improvement in their ranking.
In late Fall of 2011, a change began to take place at the Humane Society and Animal Rescue (HSAR) of Muskegon County. A new shelter director had been hired and the board of directors was undergoing a complete reorganization as several long-time directors chose to retire from the board.
The new board, under the capable leadership of William T. Gruppen, and the new shelter director, Heidi Yates, brought a new energy, vision and focus to HSAR’s mission of saving lives and preserving futures for the area’s homeless companion animals.
Heidi assembled a talented team of shelter professionals to help her reinvent the HSAR shelter as a warm and welcoming place for people to find a new family member. She also reestablished the shelter as a safe and secure haven for those animals in need of a new home.
She also set her sights on something else: To transform HSAR into a no-kill shelter facility.
Change is never easy and nothing happens overnight; especially in the world of dogs, cats and shelters.
There are never enough good volunteers to tackle every project or pursue every promising opportunity.
Properly maintaining a facility and keeping operating supplies on hand consumes a disproportionate amount of time and resources.
Ensuring adequate financial support is an on-going challenge that remains a top priority.
Yet, anyone who has spent a few minutes touring the facility, chatting with the staff and meeting the happy, well-adapted animals who live there, can tell that these people know what they are doing, know why they are doing it and are making a big difference.
Now there is proof of the remarkable changes that are taking place.
The Michigan Pet Fund Alliance has recently released their 2012 Shelter Save Rate Statistics. In this report, based on annual shelter information submitted to the Michigan Department of Agriculture, HSAR has seen their ranking improve from being at the bottom of 135 limited-admission shelters, to number 48. And, their Save Rate increase was third highest among the reporting shelters in their category.
What makes this even more impressive is that Heidi hadn’t fully implemented her changes at HSAR before the reporting period ended. So, the expectations are high that HSAR’s ranking should be even higher when the 2013 report is released sometime next year.
One board member states: “Being innovative, resourceful and prudent with limited resources is essential, but the health and well-being of the animals will always be our primary concern. That is, after all, our reason for being.”
As Bill Gruppen has mentioned on more than one occasion, “we are all proud of what Heidi and her team have accomplished in what amounts to a very short time. We are excited about what the future holds for HSAR and the animals we care for.”
Heidi says, “I am happy with the progress that HSAR has made over the past year, but we are working even harder to save even more animals in the coming years.”
In the world of animal rescue and sheltering, the work is never done. So, the people of Muskegon County can be grateful that Heidi and the entire HSAR team are on their side in the fight to preserve the lives and improve the futures of those homeless animals that deserve a second chance at a good life.
They are working hard every day to earn your support.
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