ESCANABA, Mich. (WZMQ) – Escanaba’s Delta Animal Shelter has been recognized for its efforts to care for all animals who enter its doors.
Since taking over in 2011, the team at the shelter has operated it as a no-kill facility.
“For us, it means that we do not ever euthanize animals to create space for new animals,” explained shelter operations coordinator Vonnie Bruce. “We always keep our animals here until we find a home.”
The Best Friends Animal Society recently awarded the shelter “no-kill status” for 2022. To qualify, shelters must save more than 90% of cats and dogs. In 2022, the Delta Animal Shelter achieved a save rate of 98%.
“That 2 percent, what that would be is animals that maybe they had been hit by a car, they were previously injured, or they were suffering extremely, that was a decision made by the vets that we work with to have that animal humanely euthanized,” Bruce said. “There’s a lot of places that cannot function as a no-kill shelter and that have a lot higher populations and that’s just the way they have to run, so I think we’re lucky to be a no-kill shelter and to even be able to do that.”
With the Delta Animal Shelter being the only shelter in the county, its 25 dog kennels can fill up quickly. In an unprecedented situation, the shelter is currently at maximum capacity.
“For the first time since 2011, we actually have a waitlist for dogs and cats to be surrendered,” said Bruce. “Every time a dog gets adopted, we’re calling someone and scheduling a new dog to come in a couple days later.”
According to Bruce, there has been an increase in the number of people falsely reporting their own pets as strays.
“Situations happen and people can’t keep their animals and that’s what we’re here for, but that’s really hard for us and for the animal,” she said. “I can’t imagine how sad that is for them. Also just for us not to know their name, where they came from, their breed, their likes and dislikes—that is so helpful for us finding them a good fit for their forever homes.”
Bruce encourages anyone waiting to surrender a pet to contact the shelter.
“If we can’t take the animal right away, we can give you some resources for other options,” she said. “There’s different things you can do to try to rehome your pets yourself. Otherwise, just being patient with us because we are working really hard and we’re trying to get through the waitlist as fast as we can.”
The Delta Animal Shelter provides more than just a temporary home for animals. It houses a community pet food pantry, as well as a self-service grooming room.
“I think it’s a wonderful thing for people to know that they have this resource here,” Bruce said.
Bruce thanks the public for its consistent support that helps to keep the Delta Animal Shelter running as a no-kill facility.
“We’re also so appreciative of our community because they really step up whenever we need help,” she said. “Whenever we ask for certain supplies, whenever we have fundraisers or anything like that, they’re amazing. We’re a very strong group of women and we love what we do, but definitely having the backbone of the community of Delta County is really what makes a difference for us.”