Amarillo animal shelter sets 90% live release goal - KFDA - NewsChannel 10 / Amarillo News, Weather, Sports

Amarillo animal shelter sets 90% live release goal

Source: KFDA Source: KFDA
Source: KFDA Source: KFDA
Source: KFDA Source: KFDA
Source: KFDA Source: KFDA
AMARILLO, TX (KFDA) -

Amarillo's animal shelter is working to move in a more humane direction with the help of a national nonprofit organization.

A consultant with the nonprofit, Target Zero, has completed an assessment of Amarillo Animal Management & Welfare and the Amarillo-Panhandle Humane Society.

They are now going to be working on a plan to help take the shelter to the 90 percent live release mark.

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Target zero is working with shelters across the country to help lower euthanasia rates.

The organization is confident it can help the Amarillo animal shelter reach the 90 percent live release rate, something director Richard Havens said they're ready to achieve.

"We're tired of euthanizing unwanted animals," said Havens. "We want to put Amarillo on the map as a humane community and right now we're far from it."

Just last month, the shelter took in a total  of 762 animals. Of those, 207 were euthanized.

"We are hitting that common plateau of mid 70s live release rate," said Havens.

Target Zero will report back to the shelter various ways to help them improve that percentage.

Target Zero Program Director Dr. Mike Greenberg said everyone at Amarillo Animal Management & Welfare was open to new ideas on how to make changes for the better.

"We spent a lot of time talking about intake reduction and doing so in ways that we can help the community in other ways," said Greenberg. "It's how can we, for example, help you keep your pet rather than surrendering it to the shelter."

Some strategies the shelter hopes to implement include managed intake.

"That's going to be where we go from a dumping ground to a resource center," said Havens. "Where individuals who are wanting to surrender animals they're going to actually have to go through our protocols before they can surrender their animals here to the shelter. So individuals are going to have to plan out in advance instead of this last minute, 'I'm just going to dump my animals at the shelter.'"

The shelter also plans to implement "RTF," or return to field of all healthy cats.

"So basically what it is, is any cat that enters this facility that comes from outside of a home would be fixed, and vaccinated and returned back to where it originated from," said Havens. "They're not going to reproduce and they're not going to allow any more cats into the area."

Havens said he's ready to make the changes, but they need the community support to be successful.

"As a department, as a department head, we're tired of the city treating us as a dumping ground for their animals and it's time that we step up as a community and become one of the most humane communities that Texas has," said Havens.

As soon as they receive the official report back from Target Zero, Havens said they plan to run it by city leaders to determine the best way to move forward.

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