Shelter sees dog adoptions quadruple in past four years

Published 9:16 am Wednesday, January 28, 2015

In four years, the staff at the Elizabethton/Carter County Animal Shelter have doubled the number of cats that are adopted or rescued and more than quadrupled the number of dogs that have found a new home.
ECCAS Director April Jones provided the ECCAS Advisory Board with an update on 2014 adoption statistics as well as an overall update on the past four years.
In 2010, around 18 percent of the dogs brought into the shelter were “live release,” which means they were returned to owner, adopted or sent to a rescue organization. Also in 2010, around 12 percent of cats were live release.
In contrast, last year in 2014 90 percent of the dogs and a little more than 30 percent of the cats brought into the shelter were adopted, returned to owner or sent to a rescue group.
“These are amazing numbers,”Jones said.
Jones said the cat adoption numbers were still  “disappointing” but said the numbers were lowered by the volume of feral cats that have been brought into the shelter. She said if a spay/neuter program for feral cats could be started, then those cats could be released back to their wild homes or adopted free to people who need “mouser” cats for farms.
“Our numbers would definitely improve if we had something like that,” Jones said. “Right now, we can’t keep the feral cats because they are miserable in the shelter. They are not really adoptable either. It is not a good situation.”
Jones said she had tried to work with Appalachian Feral Cat Allies to trap and spay or neuter the cats, but the way the program worked did not work with the way the feral cats were brought to the shelter.
She said the program would trap large numbers of feral cats at once, do the surgery and then release them. The shelter may not have large numbers of feral cats at the time the program came to pick them up.
The board also approved the purchase of a microchip system that was funded through a donation. The system will allow for every pet leaving the shelter to be mircochipped and the shelter will be able to offer donations to the community for $10.
The purchase will now be brought before the county budget committee for approval.

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