• 70°

Animal adoption specials bring down county euthanasia rates

According to Rowan County Animal Services director Bob Pendergrass, some big things are happening at the Rowan County Animal Shelter.

Or perhaps they’re not happening: Euthanasias are officially a rare occurrence at the shelter, he said. Since 2011, the shelter’s euthanasia rate has dropped over 70 percent, falling from 76.5 to 4.4 percent in 2017.

Pendergrass said this reduction means other milestones are also within reach. The shelter could this year celebrate an entire 365 days without euthanizing any adoptable dog or cat.

Pendergrass said the shelter has not euthanized an adoptable dog in more than three years. In the case of adoptable cats, this year could be the first without a euthanasia in the shelter’s history.

In hopes to achieve this feline victory, Pendergrass petitioned commissioners on Monday for an additional two reduced-rate adoption events.

The shelter was granted 12 annual adoption specials in 2017, which offer pet adoptions at discounts of 80 percent. The events were to be used at the director’s discretion, with the last taking place on Nov. 14 this year.

The specials are a vital part of the shelter’s continued reduction of euthanasias, said Pendergrass.

“Just in the last six events, we have adopted out 546 animals, with an average of 91 per event,” he said. “… Today, we had a good, average day for getting animals out of the shelter. On the dog side, we got 11 large dogs out — so  you can begin to see how that 91 animals really makes a difference to us.”

Pendergrass said the shelter staff has worked to tactfully use its 12 adoption specials, but an unusually long warm season meant they were still receiving high intakes of cats and kittens.

In the end, the commissioners went above Pendergrass’ request, granting the director a maximum of 20 adoption specials to be used throughout the year.

“I don’t want to add just two,” said Commissioner Craig Pierce. “… They’re doing such a terrific job keeping this euthanasia rate so low. If he needs to have that reaction quickly, I wouldn’t want to have to see him come here and go through the arduous process of getting us to vote to let them do something that’s best for those animals.”

The other commissioners unanimously agreed, praising the shelter staff for its great strides.

Pendergrass credited the shelter’s relationship with rescue organizations and volunteers and other county policy changes as helping bring the euthanasia rate down.

“We have made a tremendous improvement,” he said. “In the animal care industry and animal shelter industry, it is generally considered that anything below 10 percent is what people call a no-kill shelter.”

Ten percent is accepted because some animals come in too sick or too aggressive to be adopted, he said.

Pendergrass said the shelter staff didn’t particularly like the “no-kill” definition, as they have proven they can go beyond that 10 percent goal.

 

Comments

BREAKING NEWS

Gov. Cooper announces end to curfew, changes to restrictions affecting bars, high school sports

Crime

Blotter: Two charged after call about package

Crime

Salisbury Police investigating two shootings

Crime

Chase involving Kernersville man ends in woods behind Carson High School

News Main

North Rowan girls end season with playoff loss to Murphy

Education

Rowan-Salisbury EC department plunges in place after raising $1,300 for Special Olympics

Nation/World

Tiger Woods injured in car crash, has surgery on legs

Local

Local stakeholders set goals, direction to tackle city’s housing issues

Education

RSS board talks future of Henderson Independent School

Coronavirus

One new COVID-19 death, 23 new positives reported Tuesday

Local

Concord to create fallen officer memorial featuring Rowan native Shuping

Crime

20-year-old man faces rape charges

Crime

Blotter: Man charged after shooting gun during argument

Local

UPDATE: Missing Salisbury man found

Education

RSS board votes to use upset bid process on Faith property

Local

Committee to soon accept artist applications for ‘Paint the Pavement’ project

BREAKING NEWS

RSS board votes to send elementary students to in-person classes four days per week

Coronavirus

County to administer nearly 1,700 vaccines this week

News

Political Notebook: Rep. Howard named ‘hospitality champion’ by North Carolina Restaurant and Lodging Association

Crime

Blotter: Gunshot fired into home on North Oakhurst Drive

Local

Teenager reported missing in Salisbury

Local

‘Everybody needs an Aunt Libby:’ Family celebrates 100th birthday of Rockwell doctor Elizabeth Lombard

Ask Us

Ask Us: Why is Rowan EMS no longer transporting some patients outside of county?

Crime

Blotter: Feb. 21