Critter overcrowding

Critter overcrowding

Amarillo, TX -  Amarillo Animal Management and Welfare has reunited many pets with their families by waiving their reclaiming fees.

With too many pets at the shelter Director, Richard Havens, decided to drop all fees associated with reclaiming lost pets from noon Monday until 7 p.m. Tuesday. Usually, residents who lost their pets for the first time have to pay a $20 impoundment fee for spayed or neutered animals and 50 dollars for unaltered pets. Additional fees may be applied if pets are not micro-chipped or if they have not had their rabies shots.

The decision to waive the fees was made because the shelter wanted to reunite pets with their families and save as many animals as possible.

"At this point in time, because the city is so dedicated to not euthanizing perfectly adoptable animals, we're waiving those fees in an effort to get these animals out of here," Havens said.

Havens wants pet owners to be responsible and pick up their pets.

"We need people to take responsibility," Havens said. "At the end of the day, you know the only reason this shelter has to exist is due to irresponsible citizens."

Assistant Director, Christy Fischer, said since dropping the fees, they have seen more pet owners reclaim their pets.

"I just spoke to two people on the phone who that had serious concerns or doubts that they were even going to be able to reclaim their animals cause they thought the fees were going to be so high," Fischer said. "After we talked to them today and told them about our program, they were very excited and will be by the end of the day to reclaim both of their dogs."

Many pets have been picked up by their owners, and 21 stray animals have been surrendered for adoption.

Despite the event's success, the facility said they cannot waive the fees for extended periods of time because they need the fees to operate.