Overcrowding persists at OKC’s animal shelter

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Marley is offered for adoption from Oklahoma Metropolis Animal Welfare. Adoption charges have been waived to assist scale back the inhabitants on the animal shelter.  (Courtesy picture/Oklahoma Metropolis Animal Welfare)

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OKLAHOMA CITY – A profitable adoption weekend June 3-5 eased the inhabitants on the metropolis’s animal shelter by 372 pets, however three weeks later the kennels as soon as once more are full past capability.

Animal Welfare Superintendent Jon Gary mentioned greater than 400 canine and 230 cats had been being cared for Monday on the shelter. That’s 136% and 120% of capability respectively, he mentioned. One other 800 animals Oklahoma Metropolis Animal Welfare is chargeable for are in foster care.

The town has waived adoption charges for canine and cats till the extreme overcrowding on the shelter is eased.

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“We take in 2,000 animals in June. It’s the highest time of the year,” Gary mentioned. The variety of homeless cats will increase every Might and lasts all through summer time, whereas the canine inhabitants is regular year-round, he mentioned. “Unfortunately, overcrowding is a constant concern.”

MAPS 4 contains $38 million for a brand new animal shelter to exchange the present facility, which was in-built 2001 and at present is insufficient.

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“It’s definitely going to be a better space for the animals to live in,” Gary mentioned. “It can’t get here fast enough for us. The wait can be heartbreaking at times.”

The design part is scheduled to start early subsequent yr, with completion projected in 2026.

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“So much has been learned about shelter design over the last few years,” Louisa McCune mentioned when voters accredited the MAPS 4 program. “Unfortunately, a lot of what we have learned shines a light on what just isn’t right with our existing facility, from plumbing and venting to layout.”

McCune, govt director of the Kirkpatrick Basis, serves on the board of Patrons of OKC Animal Welfare and the Neighborhoods Subcommittee for MAPS 4. She was a pacesetter of the grassroots group that campaigned for a brand new shelter.

“This is a big step toward eliminating needless euthanasia by creating more capacity, more efficiency in design, and a more welcoming environment for all shelter visitors, which will greatly improve the adoption rate,” she mentioned.

The brand new shelter can have extra and bigger kennels for canine, in addition to smaller rooms with fewer canine per room, Gary mentioned. That ought to scale back the noise and commotion for each guests and the 60 workers members.

Gary mentioned 70% of the shelter animals are introduced in by the general public and the remainder by the sphere officers. He encourages individuals to make use of social media to attempt to reconnect animals with their homeowners earlier than bringing them to the shelter.

“Most are adoptable, so we have to do our best to get them out the door,” he mentioned. “Our goal is to place every animal that can be.”

Since 2017, the objective has been to save lots of 90% of the animals and euthanize solely these that can’t be adopted due to well being or temperament points. The present charge is 88%, Gary mentioned.

All adoptable canine and cats are vaccinated, microchipped, handled for worms and spayed or neutered. Two full-time and one part-time veterinarian and 7 assistants handle the well being wants of the greater than 1,400 animals within the shelter and foster properties.

Summer season months are busy adoption months, which is nice as a result of it corresponds to the best consumption interval, Gary mentioned. He mentioned the shelter will proceed to waive the adoption charge so long as possible to assist place as many animals as potential.

The shelter is at 2811 SE twenty ninth St. It’s open for adoptions and reclaiming pets from midday to five:30 p.m. each day besides holidays.

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