Animal rescues

FLETCHER: Animal rescues offer hidden benefits | Opinion

Animal shelters across Georgia are working to reduce the number of euthanized animals.

Valdosta Animal Shelter statistics for Lowndes County Animal Shelter indicate that animals entering the shelter system often result in unwanted euthanasia.

From 2000 to 2022, Lowndes County Animal Shelter collected the following data. The graph shows that from 2000 to 2009, there was an increase in admissions and euthanasias; rescues and adoptions were minimal.

On the other hand, 2010 marked the beginning of a gradual decline in inputs and euthanasia. In 2011, a trend emerged indicating fewer admissions and deaths and a steady increase in the number of animals rescued and adopted, creating an increase in live results.

In the early years of this registration, there was a steady increase in the number of animals euthanized. In 2000, 4,753 animals were euthanized. In 2001, 4,893 were euthanized. In 2002, 4,967 were euthanized and in 2003, 5,983 were euthanized.

The high point for animals euthanized at the Lowndes County Animal Shelter was in 2009, when 6,739 animals were euthanized.

It is encouraging to report that the number of euthanized animals has steadily decreased since that peak, dropping to 1,038 animals in 2020 and 1,372 animals in 2021.

The drop in these numbers is most likely due to a variety of sources, including hidden help from local rescues that keep many animals out of the shelter, an increase in neutering and neutering clinics, and an increase in the number of volunteer rescuers who examine, promote and find homes for shelter animals.

This means that potentially even more animals are rescued than represented in the reported data, as many of these animals never enter the Lowndes County Animal Shelter or shelters in neighboring counties.

According to the graph, the number of animals rescued and alive started at only 655 in 2000. Over the years, the number of animals able to survive at the shelter has increased significantly and steadily, and in 2019 there were 3,891 dogs, puppies , cats and kittens have been adopted or are living results.

While the number of animals rescued by animal rescue organizations and kept away from animal shelters is much higher than the numbers show, animal shelters and animal rescue organizations are working together and make a remarkable difference.

The public must do their part in spaying and neutering animals to keep them and their offspring out of the animal shelter, and the government must do more to help with the spaying and neutering of animals at little or no cost. costs.

Although there is still work to be done, the general trend of fewer animals in shelters is leading to less population control through euthanasia. People are beginning to recognize that neutering is the only way to avoid having to euthanize adoptable animals.

And because nonprofits, volunteers, community advocates, and many animal organizations don’t produce monthly reports on how many animals they’ve rescued, rehomed, neutered, neutered, transported, etc. ., the number of animals protected and rescued is much greater. than the shelter animal data indicate, which is a positive development.

In summary, the number of admissions and euthanasia has considerably decreased in 23 years. The big positive here is that the animal shelter and rescue organizations are heroes for their diligent efforts as they work together to save the animals.

As a final note and author’s privilege, I, Burton Fletcher, would like to thank my team, Terri Ernissee, Amanda “Lexi” Pauley and others who will remain anonymous for their many hours researching and writing this article. I would also like to thank Ms. Linda Patelski, Director of the Lowndes County Animal Shelter, and Ms. Peggy Moore of the Lowndes County Clerk’s Office, who worked with us to get the numbers right. Our team has spent many hours researching, writing and compiling this article.

Animal rescue and welfare are emotional matters. We may not agree on everything, but working together is better for everyone involved, as we hope to never lose sight that everything we do is for the animals.

Burton Fletcher, President and Founder, Terri Ernissee, Designer and Technology Advisor, Burton Fletcher Foundation for Animals, Inc.