Ann Arbor, MI (January 31, 2017) – Though people have supported the Humane Society of Huron Valley (HSHV) for over 120 years, 2016 broke the record for the most adoptions.

adoption record breaking.jpg4,306 animals found homes via HSHV in 2016—269 more than in 2015 and more than any other year in HSHV’s history. Cats and dogs made up the majority of adoptions, but hundreds of rabbits, guinea pigs and hamsters, 50 birds, 4 degus, 4 ferrets, 2 bearded dragons, a couple of pythons, and even a few farm animals were adopted, too. Most adopters were from Michigan and Ohio, though some traveled as far as California to adopt from HSHV.

“More than ever, people are choosing adoption to find their furry family companion. This is important to celebrate because it’s great news for animals. Not only does adoption ensure innocent homeless animals get a second chance, but also adopting helps stem cruel puppy mills and irresponsible breeders,” says Tanya Hilgendorf, HSHV’s president and CEO.

“To say we’re touched by people’s choosing to adopt an animal is an understatement,” says Hilgendorf. “These are animals who are here through no fault of their own, whether abandoned, abused, or surrendered because their family lost their home or their owner died. Some have medical or behavioral challenges that can require additional patience or pocketbook expense. For so many thousands of people to open their hearts and homes up to these innocent creatures in need of a home is uplifting.”

“Adopters are literal lifesavers,” Hilgendorf adds. “For each animal adopted, we’re able to save another animal’s life.”

2016 was a record-breaking year for HSHV in saving animals, too, saving over 95% of the animals coming through their doors. HSHV’s save rate has grown every single year since 2004, when only half of animals in the shelter were saved. Today, HSHV is a no-kill shelter, as defined by Maddie’s Fund, a leader in the no-kill movement, and has received Michigan Pet Fund Alliance’s award for having the highest save rate among all similar animal shelters in Michigan for the five consecutive years.

“Being a no-kill community requires broad community support. We simply cannot be successful without more and more people being excited about adoption.”

“I adopted a cat on Thursday,” says Jillian Graves on Facebook. “I was with my mom and brother and we all agreed that this was the best run animal shelter we’ve visited. It was bright and full of volunteers who were really helpful.”

“Our new shelter, built in 2009, contributed greatly to our ability to save more animals, but it’s really the supporters behind and within the building who make it possible,” says Matthew Schaecher, HSHV’s Chief Operations Officer. “The building remains the same size, but the community of volunteers and animal-lovers keeps growing. And they’re the ones who help us innovate and continue to do more. Like open a cat café.”

The Tiny Lions lounge and adoption Center opened in May 2016, giving HSHV more space for cats, and allowing them to take in—and adopt out—more feline friends. And those who can’t adopt can benefit from the bonding and educational activities like “Yoga with Cats,” “Cat Tales Story Time,” and “Kitty Paw-ties.”

“There’s a lot of research on the benefits on bonding with an animal,” says Hilgendorf. “Heart rates go down when you pet a cat. Depression and anxiety are reduced by having a companion animal. One adopter told us about her untrained pet’s alerting her when she was about to have a seizure. Another young woman told us her dog woke her mom up, who kept her from committing suicide. Adopting an animal can save your life, too.”

See animals currently looking for homes at HSHV is open 7 days a week for adoptions.

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 ( and on our annual report (