New Porter County Animal Shelter

A cat exploring the larger quarters at the new Porter County Animal Shelter.

Bob Kasarda, The Times

VALPARAISO — The Porter County Animal Shelter reported that it continues to maintain its no-kill status with a euthanasia rate for the first half the year at less than 10 percent.

The shelter also maintained the same number of animals during the period, but the ratio of dogs to cats flipped.

The shelter reportedly began the year with 28 dogs and 49 cats, and ended the month of June with 51 dogs and 26 cats.

"The adoption rates of cats is improving, and we have intentionally been reducing our reliance on rescue groups to take dogs,” Shelter Director Toni Bianchi said.

"The zero growth in the overall animal count is encouraging, especially since this was the period where significant staff time and efforts were focused on the planning and execution of our move to the new building," she said.

The new $3.5 million shelter along Ind. 49 near the Porter County Expo Center opened in May, and the old facility along Ind. 2 was torn down earlier this month.

The shelter reported that it took in 355 animals during the first six months of the year and had the same number of "outcomes." Of the new animals, 69 percent were strays, 18 percent were owner surrenders, 6 percent were adoption returns and 7 percent were seized through law enforcement actions.

Fifteen animals, or 4.2 percent, were euthanized during the six-month period, according to the shelter. Six were euthanized because of aggression and nine for medical reasons.

The standard for achieving no-kill status is that the shelter maintains a euthanization rate below 10 percent, according to the shelter.

The shelter said 95 percent of the animals taken in were adopted, reclaimed by their owners or placed with rescue organizations.

The shelter began taking in animals from Portage in June and is uncertain what impact that development will have on future numbers.

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Porter/LaPorte county reporter

Bob is a 23-year veteran of The Times. He covers county government and courts in Porter County, federal courts, police news and regional issues. He also created the Vegan in the Region blog, is an Indiana University grad and lifelong region resident.