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The original item was published from 8/14/2020 12:43:51 PM to 8/14/2020 12:46:19 PM.

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Posted on: August 14, 2020

[ARCHIVED] Animal Services announces 94% save rate for July

Santa Rosa County Animal Services is excited to announce a save rate of 94% for the month of July 2020. This is the first time the facility has achieved a save rate of 90% or more, commonly considered the benchmark for no-kill.
Animal Services has been partnering with Best Friends Animal Society since October 2019. Best Friends provided a long-term embedded staff member, Jessica Gutmann,  to the facility in February as manager of operations to help staff implement progressive sheltering practices that increase lifesaving.

"This great accomplishment is due to a lot of caring and dedicated staff giving their all everyday to have positive outcomes for the animals in our care," said Dora Thomason, shelter director. "Our staff also works hard with our animals to get them well and provide a wonderful foster person/family to give them the love and care needed until they can be adopted. This program and partnership with Best Friends is vital to the success of our safety nets needed for the orphaned babies in our care."

"Santa Rosa County Animal Services has exhibited a steadfast dedication and made tremendous positive strides on the road to becoming no-kill," said Jessica Gutmann, manager of operations embed from Best Friends Animal Society. "Their commitment to collaborating with Best Friends to achieve this goal and adopting proven policies, philosophies and procedures has already made a significant statistical impact on reducing death rates." 

In 2019, the shelter save rate was 65%. As of July 2020, the save rate has increased to 84.6%. "This is a huge percentage difference in the save rate already for this year," said Dr. Megan Arevalo, shelter veterinarian. "We are getting closer and closer to that benchmark of becoming a no-kill shelter. We’re saving more animals and putting more animals in homes than ever before." Gutmann adds, "Their leadership team has implemented programs and structures leaving the shelter well-positioned to not only reach these goals but for continued long-term sustainability of remaining no-kill."

2020 Monthly Save Rate

Bar graph showing the save rate for 2020 - January is 71% and July is 94%

Santa Rosa County Animal Services serves over 3,000 animals each year that come through the shelter’s doors. Animal services also provides spay/neuter opportunities when funds are available and food assistance to help keep pets in homes. For more information on the shelter programs and services, visit  

Best Friends Animal Society is a leading national animal welfare organization dedicated to ending the killing of dogs and cats in America’s shelters. In addition to running lifesaving programs in partnership with around 3,000 animal welfare groups across the country, Best Friends has regional centers in New York City, Los Angeles, Atlanta and Salt Lake City, and operates the nation’s largest no-kill sanctuary for companion animals. Founded in 1984, Best Friends is a pioneer in the no-kill movement and has helped reduce the number of animals killed in shelters nationwide from 17 million per year to around 625,000. That means there are still about 1,700 dogs and cats killed every day in shelters, just because they don’t have safe places to call home. Working collaboratively with shelters, rescue groups, other organizations and you, we will end the killing and Save Them All. For more information, visit   

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