DOBSON — Between April 1 and June 30 more than three-quarters of the animals taken in by the Surry County Animal Shelter were killed, according to information provided by animal advocacy group Mayberry4Paws as a result of a Freedom of Information Act request.
According to the data, 77 percent, or 640 animals out of the 831 animals taken into the shelter, were reported as euthanized. The report noted that 225 dogs, 413 cats and two bats were killed during the second quarter of this year.
Thirty-one animals were listed as having a “not specified” disposition, including 13 cats, 15 dogs, one rat, one raccoon and one animal listed simply as “wildlife,” reported in this category.
The report noted that during the second quarter of this year, 53 animals were adopted including seven cats and 46 dogs.
Four cats and one dog died while in the shelter’s custody, and three domestic cats “escaped” from the shelter.
Between the first of April and the end of June, three cats and one dog were sent to foster homes.
Forty-three dogs and two cats were either released or returned to their owners during the period, according to the report generated by the shelter and released earlier this week.
The report indicated that 48 animals, including 16 cats and 32 dogs, were reported as rescued.
Jane Taylor of Mayberry4Paws said the number, while still alarming, is showing that education and advocacy efforts are working.
“That’s at least an improvement over past years at the shelter,” she said. “It’s been over 90 percent in the past.
“Of course, we want to continue to work to reduce that number, not only the number of animals taken into the shelter, but the kill rate as well.”
Taylor said her group’s ultimate goal is to make pet owners aware of the need for spaying and neutering their pets.
“We want to educate the citizens to the point that they will want to do that,” she said. “That’s the ultimate answer to the problem.”
She said that recent spay and neuter programs offered through Mayberry4Paws, including using grant funding to allow the procedures at a much-reduced cost, are working.
“Based just on the intake numbers alone, we believe that the few initiatives we’ve undertaken over the past year or so are having a positive impact,” she said.
But there’s more work to be done, according to Taylor.
“Our efforts can help to reduce the numbers that go into the shelter, but it’s up to adoption and rescue programs to actually drop the percentage of animals being killed,” she said.
Officials with the Surry County Animal Shelter and the Surry County Health and Nutrition Center, which oversees shelter operations, would not comment.
Reach Keith Strange at firstname.lastname@example.org or 719-1929.