Annual Reports

City of Great Falls Montana

Annual Report - Statistics
Fiscal Year 2013 – Mid Year Fiscal Year 2015
Through December 2014

The Great Falls Animal Shelter is an open admission municipal animal shelter which serves the residents of Great Falls, Cascade County and surrounding areas.  The Mission of the Shelter is to ensure the health, safety and welfare of the animals and citizens of our community through the education of responsible pet ownership. The Shelter serves over 1,600 animals a year. 

Each year the Great Falls Animal Shelter collects data relating to the animals that enter the Shelter. This report provides a snapshot of the past 2 ½ years. The Shelter is now providing statistical data based on a fiscal year time frame (July – June), which will allow the Shelter to be consistent with the City’s financial reporting methods.

Previously, the Shelter reported data on a calendar year basis (January-December). Older Shelter annual reports are still available online (data dates back to calendar year 2008). Those reviewing the data should distinguish the difference in reporting structure when making comparisons.

Starting in FY16 the Shelter’s Annual Reports will be updated once a year after the fiscal year has ended; not at the midyear point.

Shelter SnapShot Fiscal Year (FY) 2013 through Mid Year 2015 (December 2014)

  • The Shelter has an annual average intake of 1,613 animals; with about 134 animals entering the facility each month.
  • The average number of animals adopted each year is 630.
  • On average 441 animals are reunited with their owners each year.
  • In Fiscal Year (FY) 2014, 68% of the animals entering the Shelter were returned to their owners, adopted or placed with a rescue organization.

Each year the Shelter continues to reunite more pets with their owners. In FY13, 26% of the dogs and cats entering the Shelter were returned to their owners and 28% in FY14. As of December FY15 27% of the pets coming into the Shelter have been redeemed. With another 6 months in the fiscal year, it is anticipated that this will be a record breaking year for redemptions at the Shelter.

Health & Euthanasia

Euthanasia rates decreased 26% from FY13 to FY14. As of December FY15, the rate is at 27%. This figure is often impacted by the overall Shelter impound numbers as well as the health of the animals coming into the Shelter. Staff at the Shelter anticipate that this number will continue to decrease over the next few months, as long as animals at the Shelter continue to stay healthy.

Operations & Staffing

In February 2014, the City of Great Falls adopted a new fee structure for the Animal Shelter. The new Adoption Fee is $140 for dogs and $50 for cats. The adoption fee includes the cost of spaying/neutering, a microchip, vaccinations and a nametag.

The Shelter Sidekicks, the Shelter’s Volunteer Program, continues to thrive in its third year of operation. With over 100+ volunteers, they continue to provide a valuable service to the Shelter and have helped develop and implement special events, promotions and fundraisers. They assist in walking dogs, educational programs, and creating a positive image in the community.

A new Animal Shelter Manager and a new veterinarian technician were hired in 2013. Both have helped improve Shelter processes and procedures. In FY15, four kennel technicians were brought on board as full-time employees instead of contract employees. This has helped streamline and improve operations at the Shelter.

The Shelter has continued to grow its social media presence on Facebook. Currently the Shelter has over 1,434 followers. The Shelter has also implemented a number of new adoption and educational programs, including a foster program.

Help Us Grow Project

In FY14 staff began working on a new master plan for facility improvements, and during the summer of 2014 the Help Us Grow (HUG) Project kicked off to begin fundraising efforts for future improvements at the Shelter. The goal of the HUG Project is to create a healthier and less stressful environment for Shelter pets.  The primary features of the project include a cattery addition, enhancements to the canine area and front office renovations. The cattery is the first funding priority of the HUG Project. The Shelter has currently raised $21,932 towards the cattery, in addition to receiving *$274,182 through planned giving, wills and estate gifts.


*This total includes a generous gift of $30,000 from a donor, which is forthcoming. The Shelter has been notified and will receive the cash donation once the estate has been properly processed.