Stephen Memorial Animal Shelter (SMAS) is a small animal shelter located in Oskaloosa, Iowa. Built in 1991, the original facility's sole purpose was to serve as a "pound" for stray animals in Mahaska County. As with most animal impound facilities, animals that were not adopted or claimed after 7 days were euthanized. Since then, the SMAS has evolved beyond the old "pound" ideology.
OUR MISSION: Our mission at Stephen Memorial Animal Shelter is to end pet homelessness, serve as a community resource for pets and people, and enhance the welfare of all companion animals.
In 2011, SMAS stopped euthanizing animals for space and started looking for alternatives to euthanasia. Through partnerships with other shelters and breed rescues, as well as programs aimed at increasing the adoption rate of the animals in their care, SMAS went from a dismal live release rate of 40% (meaning 40% of the animals taken in leave the shelter alive) to a live release rate of 93%. In May of 2014, we celebrated our first month of a 100% live release rate, a milestone we are very proud of. In the beginning of 2021 we had a live release rate of 100% for 5 straight months.
SMAS is considered a no-kill shelter by the 90% live release rate that is agreed upon the general , because we are able to maintain a euthanasia rate of less than 8%.
In addition to taking in and re-homing stray, abandoned, abused, and otherwise homeless animals, SMAS, in partnership with Mahaska Humane Society, has developed programs aimed to educate the community and promoting responsible pet ownership. Some of these programs include visits to the elementary school to teach dog bite prevention, bringing dogs to the local university during finals week as stress relief for students, visiting nursing home and retirement facilities for "pet therapy", and helping low-income residents of Mahaska County get their pet spayed/neutered through our "Spay the County" program.