Josh Cromer has been the director of the Humane Society of Henderson County for a little over a year and, while he does not claim to be no kill, the shelter’s save rate has improved immensely under his leadership:
2010: 731 animals or 40 percent of all animals that left the shelter that year through Oct. 1 were euthanized.
2011: 862 animals or 45 percent were euthanized.
2012: 65 animals or 5 percent have been euthanized.
Mr. Cromer credits having like-minded people on board with his lifesaving goals at the shelter as a key element in his success. He also mentions that HSHC stopped accepting surrenders from other counties, worked with more rescues and sent more pets home with adopters. His goal for his first year was reportedly to cut the killing by half. He obviously exceeded that goal. HSHC board president Josh Williams explains:
“Josh brought in a fresh perspective and challenged what was possible,” Williams said.
Challenging what’s possible for shelter pets in Henderson Co means challenging the idea that killing is an acceptable means of population control. In too many areas, we see anyone who challenges the killing attacked, marginalized, and/or demonized by those claiming that no one wants to kill animals while filling up the dumpster with dead pets. I’m glad Henderson Co was open minded enough to give someone challenging the status quo a chance. We need more municipalities willing to condemn the cruelty of the past and demand that lifesaving alternatives be given every opportunity to succeed in the future. It’s not only the right thing to do, it’s what people want, as Mr. Cromer notes:
“The community does support what we’re doing for the most part,” he added. “People don’t want to see animals die for no reason other than they were not wanted.”
(Thanks Clarice for sending in this link.)