Ann Arbor, MI (July 11, 2023) – The Humane Society of Huron Valley (HSHV) is seeing a significant increase in the number of people facing unexpected medical emergencies and requiring temporary housing for their beloved pets—nearly tripling the numbers from last year.

HSHV is one of a few Michigan organizations that offers temporary emergency shelter to the pets of families in crisis. It’s part of a group of key community services designed to prevent shelter intake and animal homelessness.

“We don’t want to rehome animals who already have loving homes, and we know how important it to people to keep pet families together—especially during challenging times,” says Tanya Hilgendorf, HSHV’s CEO. “Our pets are essential to our well-being—offering comfort, company, and unconditional love.  We unfortunately can do little to prevent emergencies and hardships that humans suffer, but we’re proud to be there for community pet owners when they need us and prevent further heartbreak and loss.”

HSHV’s Safe Harbor program provides safe and comfortable accommodations, nutritious meals, medical care and monitoring, exercise and socialization to maintain their physical and mental health.

“But it’s not just about the animals,” says Hilgendorf. “It’s also crucially important to people and their ability to get the help they need—whether it’s related to domestic violence, a house fire, or a medical emergency—without the additional worry and stress about their beloved pet.”

“It’s a lifesaver,” says Karie McMahon, HSHV’s Intake manager, “That’s what we’re told time and time again by those who use our Safe Harbor program. And I get it. This year, we’ve had dozens of people who’ve suddenly been admitted to the hospital and had to leave their pet behind. And we certainly don’t want them to have to return home to find out their pet is no longer theirs—or worse.”

HSHV’s compassionate staff and volunteers ensure harbored animals receive individualized care, love, and attention. That said, there’s an urgent need for donations and volunteers—especially dog foster parents—to help keep the program going.

To volunteer as a foster, go to To donate, please go to

To see more about HSHV’s Harbor Program, go to   

“We are incredibly grateful to our community for their continued support of—well, fellow community members,” says Hilgendorf. “Without their generosity and compassion, this wouldn’t be possible.”



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( on our annual report(