SAN ANGELO, TX – The City of San Angelo Animal Center and Concho Valley PAWS are reminding the city that there are still a large number of animals that are looking for an adoptive or foster home. The shelter is currently being inundated with infant animals that are being dropped off at the shelter.
“If we are to keep the no-kill initiative alive, we need the community’s support,” said,” said Jenie Wilson, Executive Director for Concho Valley PAWS.
“More than ever we need fosters, specifically fosters for infant cats and dogs. We need gifts of dog food, cat food, wire crates, potty pads, and litter. We need volunteers and most of all we need foster homes and foster homes that can bottle feed infants. We also need monetary donations for mounting veterinary care.”
Nearly 3 years ago the shelter embraced a no-kill philosophy and abandoned the use of euthanasia as a means of animal control. The shelter partnered with Concho Valley PAWS in March of 2017 to embark on a journey to transition the San Angelo Animal Shelter into a facility that advocated for the live release of shelter animals by increasing owner redemptions, adoptions and out-of-state adoption placement programs (transports). The partnership also included a new initiative to decrease animal intake into the shelter by providing support services and education.
PAWS is providing guidance counseling to owners who come to the shelter to surrender their pets.
“We try to determine the reason they are wishing to surrender the pet and focus on helping correct the issue as opposed to just taking the animal.”
“There are many pet owners that don’t know how to communicate with or train their pet. They don’t understand that some destructive behaviors are just dogs acting out from boredom or anxiety. There are affordable solutions for 90% of the problems that lead an owner to surrendering.”
“If they refuse to work to correct the issue and salvage the dog and owner relationship, we encourage them to rehome their pets responsibly and not just surrender them at a shelter. We refer owners to programs offered by our organization as well as other non-profits, but that is no longer an option.” Wilson said
“PAWS is currently the only rescue working with the local animal shelter. Other rescues said they didn’t want to work with the shelter or the shelter pet populations but would ‘help animals by offering programs to keep them from coming to the shelter.”
The shelter has referred pet owners to these rescues for assistance. They have been told they can no longer refer individuals to Critter Shack or Cassie’s. This becomes a problem because it leaves PAWS as the only resource for unwanted animals.
The new practices have been successful in saving the lives of countless pets. In the past two years, the shelter has gone from having an 82% kill rate to having a 68% live release rate. Injured and ill animals are no longer immediately euthanized but instead, are evaluated and treated.
Programs like PAWS PALS and Pajama PAWS allow animals to get out of their kennel and allow them to go on walks, play in the park and even spend the night with volunteers. The shelter has set records in the number of animals adopted, transported and redeemed by owners.
Even with the successful initiatives, the shelter is still struggling to get a handle on the number of animals that are brought into the shelter.
“This is a plea to our community to get involved. Now is the time to become a part of the solution. Adopt, don’t shop. If you have an unaltered pet, get him or her fixed and we can help make that affordable if you need assistance. Lastly, honor your commitments and keep your pet and invest the time and training needed to make it work. If you are already doing these things, please consider fostering and volunteering for us.”