DeerAnn Arbor, MI (May 14, 2015) – The Humane Society of Huron Valley invites you to an information session on fertility control methods for urban deer.  The presenter, Stephanie Boyles Griffin, who will be joining us by Skype, is the senior director of wildlife response, innovations and services at the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS).

The presentation will be held from 7 pm to 8 pm on Wednesday, May 20th at the Humane Society of Huron Valley (HSHV). (Please note that despite name confusion, HSHV and HSUS are not affiliated.) Interested people can RSVP here; attendance is free.

Background:

Urban deer is a growing phenomenon across the United States largely related to sudden and drastic loss of habitat combined with ample food supply in our communities.  People in neighborhoods whose landscapes have been intensely afflicted are looking for help.

Though Ann Arbor City officials have been gathering public opinion regarding methods for deer population management, a full problem assessment has not yet been done. However, data reveals there are no current local cases of deer-related Lyme disease and the percentage of deer-related versus overall traffic accidents has declined.  Though the DNR stated aerial surveys are not an acceptable way to measure population density, Ann Arbor’s recent aerial survey counted just168 deer within and bordering Ann Arbor, including those on University of Michigan property– about 6 deer per square mile — significantly under the DNR’s desired maximum of 20.

Ann Arbor city officials’ stated final recommendations are for a deer cull/kill.  As a no-kill organization and one that has responded for decades to our community’s overpopulation of animals, the Humane Society of Huron Valley aims to provide education around means that are both effective and non-lethal.

Animal welfare organizations nationwide are becoming increasingly aware that killing healthy animals in an attempt to reduce overpopulation not only poses an ethical dilemma, but does not provide a long-term solution and must be repeated continuously. For wild animals including deer and outdoor living cats, sudden drops in population prompt a spike in birth rates and the immigration of others from surrounding areas.  For instance, the city of Jackson has been culling for 8 straight years and while data on number of deer is not readily available, the area saw a 15% increase in deer-related car collisions and remains “hot spot” in the state for such collisions. Fertility control methods may not provide immediate reduction in population, but can be highly effective in the long term.

HSHV has also helped thousands of community members with wildlife concerns over the years, providing both emergency response to sick or injured wildlife and services helping homeowners with wild invaders.  In rendering these services, HSHV has found the combination of knowledge, respect and a little bit of patience effective in managing human/animal conflicts.

There are many methods which do not require the use of firearms in our parks and neighborhoods, and HSHV wants to ensure the public has access to information on all the options available.  Information on Rochester Hills’ (who has a larger deer population than Ann Arbor) exemplary education/prevention program has been provided, but information on vaccines and innovative methods that humanely stem population growth have not yet been presented to our community.

The Ann Arbor community is well-educated and compassionate, and although HSHV does not have experience in deer fertility control, we have been asked by the community to provide information on humane options for deer conflict management. HSHV hopes the interested public will attend this information session.

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 nor do they receive funding from any other humane organization, and they depend on private donations for all programs. For more information, call (734) 662-5585 or visit www.hshv.org. LOVE STARTS HERE!

 

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