Twenty years ago, when the Gloucester-Mathews Humane Society and Gloucester County Animal Control initiated the cooperative Animal Control Outreach and Rescue Network program—also known as ACORN—they had no idea how successful it would be.
In 1997, the euthanasia rate at the GCAC shelter was over 60 percent, and at the Humane Society it was not much better. This was before low-cost spay/neuter clinics and rescue groups, organizations we now take for granted, existed in our area, and before transporting animals to shelters in areas with fewer animals had become possible.
The purpose of the ACORN program was to improve the quality of life for the animals at the county shelter and to increase the number of animals who were adopted.
The ACORN program was initiated with a contract between the two agencies for GMHS staff to clean and care for the animals impounded at the GCAC shelter, for which the county would pay GMHS. This allowed the county animal control officers to focus...
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