MDARD: Ann Arbor shelter took in record number of animals in 2020

Almost 6,000 animals went through HSHV doors

(Stephanie, iStock)

ANN ARBOR, Mich. – The Humane Society of Huron Valley took in the most animals of any shelter in Michigan in 2020, according to a report from the Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development (MDARD).

The Ann Arbor animal shelter, at 3100 Cherry Hill Rd., reported that almost 6,000 animals were brought to HSHV during the COVID-19 pandemic—some surrendered by owners and others having been rescued, lost or abandoned.

Among the 5,844 animals were 3,400 cats, 2,072 dogs, 319 rodents and 53 rabbits.

“These numbers tell a story about HSHV and about 2020. Throughout the pandemic, we remained steadfast in our commitment to serving the community, animals and people in need. We kept our doors open and continue to do so. We take in not just owner-surrendered animals but also lost and stray animals and those who have been abandoned, orphaned and victims of cruelty,” said HSHV CEO, Tanya Hilgendorf in a statement.

HSHV had a 97 percent live release rate in 2020, the highest of shelters of similar size and type across the state, the nonprofit said. Only 375 animals were euthanized, according to the MDARD report.

The large number of animals in need didn’t stop in 2020. HSHV said that it has already taken in over 7,000 animals, including 5,700 dogs and cats, since the beginning of 2021.

As an independent nonprofit, HSHV has received a four-star rating ten years in a row by charity evaluator Charity Navigator. The ranking puts the animal shelter within the top three percent of evaluated charities across the United States, Hilgendorf said.

“Despite all our success, we spend part of each day thinking about how we can do better or more. We’re always challenging ourselves.”

“Many people think humane societies are funded through state or national organizations, but there is no umbrella group. We’re all independent organizations with unique services, approaches, and philosophies. Our mission is to save and protect as many animals as possible. But it’s not just about keeping animals alive. It’s about providing the absolute best care available to our animals and needed support to the people who love them,” said Hilgendorf.

HSHV offers adoption services, dog training, low-cost veterinary services, a pet food food bank, animal lost and found, and emergency shelter among other services.

About the Author:

Sarah has worked for WDIV since June 2018. She covers community events, good eats and small businesses in Ann Arbor and has a Master's degree in Applied Linguistics from Grand Valley State University.