Officials hope community can make a difference for animals at shelter

Officials hope community can make a difference for animals at shelter

AMARILLO, TX (KFDA) - Amarillo Animal Management and Welfare released new findings from Target Zero, a national non-profit that seeks to help public animal shelters achieve a better live release rate.

The shelter hopes this will make a difference for the animals that call the kennels home.

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In order for Amarillo's shelter to implement best practices, they need people to be part of the solution - beginning with managed intake and scheduled surrenders.

"Someone presents themselves and needs to surrender an animal. They're going to have to work with us on our schedule to be able to accept the animal," said Richard Havens, Director of Amarillo Animal Management and Welfare (AAM&W).  "At that point, we'll probably look at doing some sort of vaccination, microchip, start to build some unity with the animal. The animal will go back with the owner and then wait for their scheduled time to be able to come back to the shelter."

The shelter will charge a fee but will be speaking to the community about proposed ordinances that could eliminate it.

"We are also going to float the idea of wavering the surrendering fee if people are willing to work with us through this managed intake," said Havens. "Once again it becomes an incentive for them to work for us."

In the month of April, the adjusted live release rate was just under 86%.

The shelter's goal is 90% - but they need help.

"I challenged our advisory board to not accept 90% until we can not rely on other communities," said Havens. "At this point we are only able to achieve any level of success because other communities are cleaning up our mess."

In an effort to allow residents to see why these changes are necessary, the shelter is inviting residents inside.

"They change the mentality of some of the animals here it helps them de-stress," said Clay Martin, Volunteer Program Coordinator at AAM&W. "It helps us de-stress with having volunteers come in and supplement some of the things we can't always get to. "By inviting the community and be a part of this that helps them come into our world a little bit and see what really goes on with Amarillo's animals."

Anyone interested in volunteering with the shelter must fill out an application.

It's the shelters hope that these initiatives will make a difference for every animal that calls the shelter home while changing the mindset of the community they live in.

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