I talked to Carl Friedman, Director of San Francisco’s Animal Care and Control. I was asking for SF shelter data. He gave me numbers. As a matter of fact, he gave me ten years of numbers.
For fiscal 2005-2006:
The live release rate for cats was 83%!!
The live release rate for dogs was 73%
The live release rate for Cats and Dogs was 80%
Many people say that this save rate is not possible in LA, because LA is so much larger than SF.
Friedman’s response is that in any large city, there are many more people to adopt, rescue and foster than in San Francisco. He sees no reason why any major city should not have an 80% live save rate.
SF's live save rate for unweaned kittens is extremely high for those more than a few days old, compared to 23% in LA because of a well-developed foster program.
SF has an impound rate 17% less per thousand than LA, but they have a live save rate of 80% instead of 55%. LA kills 4.8 animals per thousand people, while San Francisco kills 2.1. I have been using SF numbers for four years as a goal for LA. Then I only had their number for 2003-2004. The current numbers are validation.
Yet, and get this, they have a budget of only $2.8 million and only 43 employees!! They also have 150 volunteers, or about 3-1/2 per employee.
Others have said LA demographics are not the same as SF. Yes, that's true, SF has a higher education and income level than LA, but their overall impound rate is only 17% lower than LA.
The key to success says Friedman is community involvement. This is exactly what Susanne Kogut from Charlottesville said as well as Tara Derby from Philadelphia.
Charlottesville, San Francisco and Philadelphia all have successful unweaned kitten and puppy programs. All three claim extremely low kill. Kogut says their kill for neonatals is almost non-existant. She did not quantify. Friedman says very few die in SF but did not quantify. Tara Derby from Philadelphia says the cats and kittens “fly out their door," and the neonatals have a very low death rate because of their foster program.
Here, in LA, my biggest gripe is that cats, especially kittens, get screwed big time, 77% are killed, most on their first day. LA has a long, long way to go before it is anywhere near San Francisco.