By the numbers
Year-end animal report for Craig Animal Shelter
• 2006: 767
• 2007: 829
• 2006: 187
• 2007: 100
Released to owners
• 2006: 237
• 2007: 314
• 2006: 177
• 2007: 243
• 2006: 166
• 2007: 161
• 2006: $22,848
• 2007: $31, 671
Source: Craig and Moffat County
Animal Control report
Craig 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.