“HSHV is not just a model of best practices; it is a strong voice of advocacy for animals.”

Ann Arbor, MI (September 20, 2016) – The Michigan Pet Fund Alliance (MPFA) presented Tanya Hilgendorf, CEO/President of the Humane Society of Huron Valley (HSHV), with its “Leading the Way” award Thursday night.

“The Michigan Pet Fund Alliance Board of Directors is pleased to recognize and honor you, Tanya – to acknowledge the lifesaving leadership you have provided at the Humane Society of Huron Valley; your untiring willingness to mentor other shelter directors and animal welfare advocates and your vigilance to do what is right for companion animals in Michigan,” said Deborah Schutt, Chairperson of the Michigan Pet Fund Alliance (MPFA), a charitable organization led by animal welfare professionals dedicated to ending the killing of healthy and treatable cats and dogs in Michigan.

This is the first year MPFA has given a “Leading the Way” award. During Hilgendorf’s 11-year directorship of HSHV, euthanasia of animals at the shelter has decreased 90%.

“I’m honored and humbled by this award,” says Hilgendorf. “But no one earns this alone. HSHV is extremely fortunate to have an absolutely incredible family of staff, volunteers, Board members, and supporters who are passionate about helping homeless and abused animals.  Rescuing, healing, saving and protecting animals—and mentoring others to do the same—doesn’t come cheap or easy. And thankfully, our community recognizes this, always supporting HSHV in doing more to help innocent animals. We’re committed to using creative, bold strategies to protect animals and save lives and are proud to share our experiences and practices with others.”

“The Michigan Pet Fund Alliance has an important goal of making Michigan a no-kill state,” says Schutt. “I think, as Tanya said, we all want to see the phrase ‘no kill shelter’ be unnecessary—for the day when all shelters move away from being prisons and death camps to places of refuge and second chances. There are so many places that want to do better—and can and have done better, in part thanks to the leadership like that of HSHV.”

“HSHV’s mission includes both education and advocacy,” says Hilgendorf. “HSHV is not just a model of best practices; it is a strong voice of advocacy for animals. This is how we help other animals, and people who love them, who are beyond our reach. We want to help build a world of more compassion and respect for animal life. Michigan is getting better at saving more lives of homeless animals, in large part because of so many wonderful people now committed to adoption and the hard work of MPFA. But the care of animals in shelters is still a major problem and so are so many of our approaches with animals. Animal lives don’t just count because they are our pets. We need to lead with our compassion in dealing with companion animals and with wildlife.”

In 2009, HSHV built a state-of-the-art facility, designed for the best in animal and people care.

“HSHV has never rested on its laurels and keeps a laser focus on continuous improvement. From TNR, Bountiful Bowls, and Humane Education to Pitty Parties, the Love Train and even their own cat café—the Tiny Lions lounge and adoption Center that opened this spring, HSHV under Tanya’s leadership is constantly evolving, taking risks, and trying new things to help more animals,” says Schutt.

The “Leading the Way” award is one of several awards for Hilgendorf and HSHV. Earlier this year, Charity Navigator granted HSHV its fifth straight top 4-star “exceptional” rating for fiscal management, accountability and transparency. Michigan Pet Fund Alliance recognized HSHV as “Outstanding Open Admission Shelter with the Best Save Rate.” Under Hilgendorf’s leadership, the shelter has been credited for substantially decreasing pet homelessness through increasing pet spay/neuter surgeries and pet adoption. Last year, HSHV found responsible adopters for over 4,000 homeless animals and now has nearly a 95% save rate.


About the Michigan Pet Fund Alliance:

Michigan Pet Fund Alliance is a not for profit organization whose mission is to end the killing of healthy and treatable homeless cats and dogs in Michigan by collaborating with animal shelters and rescue organizations to achieve No Kill through training, technical assistance, education, and advocacy. www.michiganpetfund.org


About The Humane Society of Huron Valley:

The Humane Society of Huron Valley, located in Ann Arbor, is an independent 501(c)(3) non-profit organization and relies solely on the generosity of our supporters to provide critical community programs and services. HSHV is an award-winning organization, recognized for our best practices and highest animal “save-rate” among all similar shelters in Michigan. Charity Navigator, the nation’s top charity evaluator, awarded HSHV a 4-star ranking, the highest possible. The mission of HSHV is to promote the loving, responsible care of all animals in our community. HSHV is not affiliated with any other humane organization and does not receive funding from the United Way. More information can be found on HSHV’s website (hshv.org) and on our annual report (www.hshv.org/2015annualreport).