Reflecting on 2023

Reflecting on 2023

By: Nikki Ritter, AVHS Executive Director 

Spring presents an ideal time to reflect on the number of animals helped through our community retention and shelter services in 2023. Last year, our team of eleven staff members, eight board members, and 70 volunteers, helped 1,546 animals through our sheltering, spay/neuter, microchipping, safety net, and adoption programs. In doing so, the average length of stay for animals was only 18 days and our Asilomar Live Release Rate was 97.1%.

Of the 621 animals sheltered, 67% of cats and 82% of dogs originated in Chaffee County. Others received were relinquished by owners living in surrounding counties or transferred in from shelters in need. Through our transfer partnerships with 17 shelters in Colorado, New Mexico, Utah, Texas, and California, we were able to save 125 additional pets: 74 cats and 51 dogs.

All 388 dogs and cats adopted from the shelter were spayed or neutered, up-to-date on vaccinations, and microchipped before leaving our doors. Additionally, our community support programs, aiming to keep pets and people together have continued to become more robust, year over year. Our community assistance spay and neuter programs provided reduced or no-cost spay/neuter for 264 cats and dogs living in Chaffee County. In addition, 10 reduced or no-cost microchips were offered to owned pets. Our community pet food and supply pantry served 643 pets, and 9 pets received free emergency boarding services. We partnered with local dog trainers to offer 8 at-risk community dogs 16 individualized training lessons through our behavior intervention training program. We partnered with Chaffee County Hospitality to offer motel room stays for unsheltered individuals and their pets during the coldest nights of the year, offering 54 nights of respite and benefitting 9 additional community pets, and we partnered with Chaffee County Community Foundation to offer a community pet medical emergency fund that benefitted 22 additional community pets.

AVHS maintained operations in two facilities: our main facility in Buena Vista and a police impound facility in Salida, which received 63 animals. The success of our programs is possible thanks to generous support from our donors, volunteers, foster families, and partner veterinarians. It takes a village to ensure the welfare of companion animals in our community, and together we continue to work towards a safe and humane world for all people and pets.


Recommended Posts