Saturday, May 10, 2014
As of this year the Frances R. Willis SPCA is starting to resemble a no-kill animal shelter, but it is not quite there yet.
Simone Killoren, president of the SPCA’s board, said the shelter’s live release rate, which is the number of animals that make it out of the shelter each month, matched that of a no-kill shelter in December, January, February and March. However, within the past month numbers have “dipped some.”
“A no-kill shelter does not mean that every animal is taken in and adopted out – a no-kill shelter saves every animal adoptable animal, which we are now able to do,” she said.
However, she added, some animals cannot be saved – sometimes due to factors such as cancer, aggressive behavior or a biting history.
“Our numbers are there but we cannot adopt out everything that comes through the door, although we are extremely close with live release rates near 95 percent for the past few months,” Killoren said.
Killoren said the foster program has helped the shelter’s live release rate immensely because at times the shelter has up to 40 animals in the foster program. Those animals are typically injured or sick.
“These animals do not live well in a shelter environment because of their poor health combined with the high stress level of being in a shelter,” Killoren said.”Having so many foster homes gives these animals a comfortable environment in which to recover, become trained and frees up space at the shelter to take in and find homes for more animals that are already healthy enough to be adopted out.”
The shelter currently has a handful of dogs with heart worm that need foster homes in order to go through the heart worm treatment to become adoptable animals. The SPCA pays for the treatment, which is provided to the shelter at a discount from Central Vet. This foster program, combined with the efforts of our shelter manager and staff, has helped the SPCA’s live release rate remain high.
The shelter is in the process of raising money by asking the public to “like” their Facebook page. With every “like” they receive on Facebook throughout the month of May the shelter receives a $1 donation from four SPCA sponsors. The shelter is hoping to get at least 2,000 likes by the end of the month.
Support from the community is essential to maintaining the shelter’s success, Killoren said.
“We plan to keep making use of our foster parents and volunteers to help these animals become healthy and adoptable and find their forever homes,” she said. “No shelter wants to euthanize an animal and it is an extremely challenging decision for a shelter manager or veterinarian to have to make.”