As usual, I need to do more work on this. But I’ve found statewide shelter stats online in one format or another for 6 states, and I have my ways of getting them for Oregon. They represent about 1/4 of the US population.
Oregon is the only state steadily declining in cat intake and the percentage of those cats that are euthanized. There are always local conditions, changes in policies and shelters that do various things to their stats to make them more favorable. But when I see a steady change over years, statewide, I think it’s significant. Especially when the change does not seem to be part of any national trend.
Portland is very complicated and ASAP is reporting on how things are going there, so I thought I’d look at the rest of Oregon. A little more than half of OR’s population lives outside the Greater Portland area. Clinic stats include (with year started): Oregon Neutermobile(2003), SNIP(2004), Greenhill (2004), BSNP(2005), WAG(2008), WHS(2010), S/Nipped(2011)
Much of the shelter data and links to the sources are at http://www.spayship.com/data.html. I put a lot of this online data into spreadsheets for ease of use. If anyone cares, you can nag me and I’ll work on putting more up and updating what’s there.
I’m concentrating on the cats because they are so much more likely to be euthanized and their stats are more quickly and noticably changed by s/n. Dog stats for Oregon are also improving, but changes are more irregular. (They don’t look as pretty in charts 🙂 )
Note that 6.15 surgeries per year per 1000 population average. This comes close to the 5 per 1000 figure I’ve seen elsewhere, although that was given as targeted to low-income.
Are there really places where vets are hanging around with nothing to do until someone comes in to subsidize s/n? I don’t think so. The spay/neuter capacity of an area does not increase by 5 surgeries per 1000 population just because there’s financial help available to low-income pet owners. Yes, once the capacity is there, then education, financial aid, transportation assistance etc will be needed to keep s/n up to the target level over years. But a program that does nothing to increase capacity, such as starting a high-volume clinic (and most government-funded programs are in that category), are unlikely to have an effect on reducing the homeless animal population. In my not so humble opinion.