The Cumberland County Animal Services Department has been recognized with the Transformational Change Award from Best Friends Animal Society, a national animal welfare organization dedicated to ending the killing of dogs and cats in America's shelters. The department received the honor for having the largest improvement in their “live release rate” (the number of animals leaving the shelter in a positive outcome) for shelters intaking 2,000 to 10,000 animals per year.
Animal Services is a member of the Best Friends Network, which comprises more than 3,300 animal shelters, spay/neuter organizations and other 501(c)(3) public charity rescue groups across the country working to save the lives of dogs and cats in their communities.
The department was selected for the Transformational Change Award based on national shelter data and work from calendar year 2020 (compared to 2019). National, state and shelter level data can be found on the pet lifesaving dashboard published by Best Friends.
“This award recognizes the hard work on the part of our department, rescue groups and other partners. We are proud that over 80% of the shelter animals we received left and went to forever homes or to other organizations that help find new owners. We will continue to work to maintain a low euthanasia rate,” said Animal Services Director Elaine Smith.
Best Friends and its network partners are working to end the killing of dogs and cats in shelters nationwide by 2025. When a shelter is saving at least 90% of the dogs and cats entering its doors, that shelter is designated as “no-kill” by the Best Friends. A no-kill community is a city or town in which every brick-and-mortar shelter serving or located within that community has reached a 90% save rate or higher and adheres to the no-kill philosophy.
"It's incredible to see so many shelters around the nation taking dramatic steps to increase lifesaving,” said Brent Toellner, senior director, national programs for Best Friends Animal Society. “Whether it be through new programming, progressive leadership or better collaborative partnerships, these groups are showing that lifesaving success is possible regardless of a shelter’s size or location.”
About Cumberland County Animal Services
The mission of the Cumberland County Animal Services Department is to protect our citizens by active enforcement of state and local laws, provide for the humane sheltering and outcome of stray and unwanted animals, and promote responsible pet ownership. The primary objective of Animal Services employees is to provide excellent service to the citizens while dedicating themselves to improving the welfare of animals and humans.
About Best Friends Animal Society
Best Friends Animal Society is a leading animal welfare organization working to end the killing of dogs and cats in America’s shelters by 2025. Founded in 1984, Best Friends is a pioneer in the no-kill movement and has helped reduce the number of animals killed in shelters from an estimated 17 million per year to about 347,000. Best Friends runs lifesaving programs all across the country, as well as the nation’s largest no-kill animal sanctuary. Working collaboratively with a network of more than 3,300 animal welfare and shelter partners, and community members nationwide, Best Friends is working to Save Them All®. For more information, visit bestfriends.org.