Huron Humane Society: Most animals come in from Alpena

Courtesy Photo Gus, a cat currently living at the Huron Humane Society in Alpena, swats at a fish on a video that is playing on a large television at the shelter. On Tuesday, the Alpena Municipal Council received its annual report from HHS.

ALPENA — Of the 551 animals the Huron Humane Society took in last year, 532 of them came from Alpena and only 19 from other municipalities outside the city.

The Alpena Municipal Council allocates $20,000 each budget year to help cover the $269,584 cost of caring for the animals. When broken down, that equates to $489 per animal.

At Tuesday’s council meeting, Huron Humane Society Vice President Mary Eagan presented an annual update to the council and broke down how the number of animal intakes, costs, and adoptions compared to 2020. She also shared some of the improvements made at the shelter that improve the way of life and health of the animals.

Eagan said in her report the cost of caring for cats and kittens is higher because there is a higher population of them at the HHS, and because they have a longer average length of stay when compared to a dog.

She said the average stay for a cat or kitten is 26.2 days before being adopted, while it is only 6.7 days on average for a dog.

In 2021, there were 80 dogs brought into the shelter, of which 68 found new homes. There were 435 cats taken into the shelter. Both of those numbers are a touch lower than the previous year. Of the 503 total adoptions, 496 of them were by people from Alpena, Eagan said in her report.

A total of 34 animals were returned to their owners.

Eagan said the city has priority over other local municipalities because of the financial support the humane society receives from it, and considers the service it provides a bargain.

“The services HHS is able to provide because of generous donors and funding from our service contract with the city benefit public health for animals and humans alike,” Eagan said in her report. “We are honored to contribute to the health and happiness of so many Alpena pets and the families they eventually join.”

The Huron Humane Society requested another $20,000 from the city next fiscal year.

“For this price, the city is covering $37.59 of the $489 it cost HHS to care for each of the 532 animals the society took from city residents in 2021,” Eagan said. “Funding of $20,000 is a good bargain for the City of Alpena and would be put to responsible use by the Huron Humane Society.”

Projects which continue moving forward at the shelter include a clean up of the yard, which Eagan described as a huge job that will make a big difference to the look of the shelter grounds and the wellbeing of the animals.

The maternity room for cats and dogs is also being redone to create a less stressful, quieter environment.

With help from Clark Construction, Cora’s Colony, the adult cat playroom at the shelter, was stripped down to the studs and rebuilt to create sturdier catwalks, more easily washable floors and walls, and a television was added that plays stimulating videos for cats all day.

“Thank you for valuing humane best practices for managing the homeless, unwanted, neglected, and abused animal problem in the City of Alpena,” Eagan said. “We at HHS are grateful for our strong relationship with the City of Alpena Police Department, which periodically brings us animals needing our services. We are truly appreciative of our relationship with the City and thank you for your commitment to the health and wellbeing of the domestic animal population of the city.”


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