A Boston Terrier mix who has been named Turbo by Kathie Johnson, an animal control officer, sits in his pen Thursday at the Craig Animal Shelter.

Photo by Hans Hallgren

A Boston Terrier mix who has been named Turbo by Kathie Johnson, an animal control officer, sits in his pen Thursday at the Craig Animal Shelter.

More animals adopted, released to owners in 2007

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By the numbers

Year-end animal report for Craig Animal Shelter

Impounded

• 2006: 767

• 2007: 829

Euthanasia

• 2006: 187

• 2007: 100

Released to owners

• 2006: 237

• 2007: 314

Adopted

• 2006: 177

• 2007: 243

Transferred

• 2006: 166

• 2007: 161

Boarding costs

• 2006: $22,848

• 2007: $31, 671

Source: Craig and Moffat County

Animal Control report

— The 2007 Craig and Moffat County Animal Control report tells a story.

And Kathie Johnson, animal control officer, was glad to hear it.

The tale: More stray animals found new homes, were returned to their owners or were transported to other shelters last year than in 2006. At the same time, fewer were euthanized.

"It's been wonderful," Johnson said in reference to dropping euthanasia numbers.

Still, the shelter is only a "band aid," she said, saying there is an overpopulation of stray and feral animals finding their way to the Craig Animal Shelter.

In 2007, the shelter impounded 829 animals, including 480 dogs and 346 cats, according to the animal control report.

Although that number showed an 8 percent increase from 2006, other figures indicate more animals are being released to their owners or adopted.

Compared to 2006, 32 percent more animals were reclaimed by their owners last year while 37 percent more were adopted.

Forty-seven percent fewer euthanasia operations were conducted last year than in 2006.

An animal is put down when it shows signs of aggression, is too wild to be tamed or is too ill or injured for adoption, Johnson said.

Johnson partially attributed the decrease to the Humane Society of Moffat County.

"Our humane society is reaching out to shelters and rescue groups," Johnson said, to transport the animals elsewhere.

"We've saved a lot (of animals) that way," Johnson said.

The Humane Society has transported animals to more than eight shelters in the state, including Golden, Glenwood and Frisco, Humane Society officials said.

But the numbers also tell another story.

Of the 314 animals released to their owners, 14 were cats. In contrast, 299 dog owners reclaimed their pets from the shelter.

"It's sad," Johnson said. "No one hardly comes in looking for a cat."

And feral cats -those bred in the wild - continue to pose a problem for animal control, she said.

Unspayed and unneutered cats tend to breed "like crazy," Johnson said, giving birth to young that usually become undomesticated.

And can become a problem.

"When we get cats like that, they're wild," Johnson said. "We have to put them to sleep."

The solution, she said: Spaying or neutering pets.

The Humane Society screens a reduced-price spay and neuter program for individuals who qualify, Secretary Pat Pearce said.

All pets from the Craig Animal Shelter are spayed or neutered upon adoption. A $90 adoption fee for cats and a $95 fee for dogs pays for this service, as well as vaccinations, Johnson said.

To adopt a pet from the Craig Animal Shelter or for more information, call 824-7235.

Comments

George Robertson 6 years, 9 months ago

The best way to proove that a dog is mans best friend is to lock both your dog and your wife in the trunk of your car. Come back in a couple of hours and see which one is happiest to see you.

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bearscout 6 years, 9 months ago

I hope that people truly read this article and think about the what the numbers represent. Despite the fact that Animal Control Officers and the Humane Society of Moffat County have worked diligently to decrease the number of homeless animlas euthanized in our shelter, there are still way too many animals impounded each year (generally over 800 total). While it is true that pets occasionally escape despite the efforts of their owners, for the most part animals roam because their owners are irresponsible. Often times they aren't claimed because people cannot afford the impound fees. These animals are disposable in the opinion of their owners. People should not view pets as disposable. They deserve a lifetime committment from their caretakers. When pets are left in the shelter, it is the community that pays (one way or another) for their welfare. We pay the police to employ animal control officers and to board homeless animals for 10 days. The Humane Society is supported in part by donor designated funds from the United Way and additional funding from a Human Resource Council grant. In both cases, generous members of our community are donating for the public good. What is the solution? First and foremost, it is imperative that people spay and neuter their pets. It is the only way to compat the pet overpopulation problem in our community. Pet overpopulation is simply defined as more pets than there are people to adopt them. The Humane Society transferring 161 animals in a year demonstrates the magnitude of this problem. There is no reason for the average pet owner to breed their animals when there are pets available in shelters. If you cannot afford to spay, neuter and vaccinate an animal, you should not own one. Take the burden off of animal control, the Humane Society and responsible members of communities and take care of your pets!

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