County animal shelter says it's killing fewer dogs, cats
Study: Euthanasia rate down 14%
HENDRICKS COUNTY, Ind. - The Hendricks County Animal Shelter is making changes after the Call 6 Investigators exposed the shelter’s high euthanasia rate.
Last summer, Call 6 Investigator Kara Kenney questioned shelter officials about the county facility’s 64 percent euthanasia rate, meaning 64 percent of the animals coming into the door were killed.
Since then, the shelter has separated from Animal Control, an interim shelter director has taken over, and the shelter has added Saturday hours.
The shelter has also ditched the black combat boots in favor of collared shirts with new logos.
“It’s a much friendlier logo,” said Dr. Blake Deckard, a veterinarian with the shelter’s advisory council. “I think people feel good when they come to adopt pets, it’s a much friendlier atmosphere.”
The county also hired a developer to create a new website for the shelter, and is working to regularly post adoptable animals on the shelter’s Facebook page as well as Petfinder.
“We try to keep that up to date and current, because quite frankly, that’s how most people find their next pet,” said Deckard.
According to new numbers provided by interim shelter director Ladonna Hughes, the shelter’s current euthanasia rate is 50 percent.
Hughes declined to be interviewed.
Deckard said most of the animals euthanized are at the owner’s request.
Records show only 2 percent of the animals killed were due to lack of space at the shelter.
“The optimal goal is more pets in people’s homes,” said Deckard. “We truly want to be accessible to those who want to adopt a pet.”
Deckard said the Call 6 Investigators helped address what was happening at the shelter, including allegations animals were not being walked outside.
“Your story brought some things to light and helped the council focus on those problems, and work together with animal groups to bring change," said Deckard.
Tammy Sollenberger just opened a low-cost spay and neuter clinic in Brownsburg in the hopes of reducing the number of animals killed in Hendricks County.
“The national average for euthanasia in a shelter is 32 percent so we're hoping to improve that by spaying, and neutering, making them better, healthier pets," said Sollenberger.
The clinic plans to do up to 13,000 surgeries a year, and work in cooperation with the county shelter.
"It's important because the number one killer of animals is euthanasia," said Sollenberger.
More information: Low Cost Spay Neuter Clinic Inc.
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