LUFKIN, Texas (KTRE) – The Kurth Memorial Animal Shelter released public statistics last year in an effort to be transparent with the community. In statistics, Leslie Anders, a volunteer at the shelter, said she welcomed a total of 4,665 animals for the entire calendar year in 2021. This averages out to about 90 animals per week. Anders said she was shocked at how many more animals they received in 2021 compared to 2020.
“Animal surrenders increased dramatically in 2021, so I guess maybe a lot of people were home in 2020. Our adoption rate was higher in 2020 and so we had a lot of adoptions, a lot people acquired animals when COVID first started in 2020, and then as 2021 progressed some people started going back to school to work and could no longer care for them ”, Anders said.
Aaron Ramsey, the director of animal services, said some of these animals come from communities outside.
“Rural areas like this are very, very difficult. We’re surrounded by counties that don’t have an animal service program or don’t have a shelter or a place for these animals to go, ”Ramsey said.
A total of 1,507 animals were euthanized in 2021 and 674 animals were adopted.
“For 2020, the euthanasia rate was around 42%; now some of them were due to space or time, but some were due to health or temperament, unfortunately. But the numbers quickly declined in 2021 to a 32% euthanasia rate and this is due in large part to the increased efforts of rescue coordinators, ”said Anders.
Ramsey said euthanasia is an emotional challenge for the volunteer and the staff.
The shelter’s overall goal for this year is to reduce Angelina County’s admission and increase the live release rate overall.
One of the most important things a pet owner can do is spay or neuter their pet.
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